MDHHS issues RFP to increase reliance on community-based settings for justice-involved youth


Soraya Marashi


On Monday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that it has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to “assist communities with planning and implementation of evidence-based services to promote and preserve community-based placement for juvenile justice-involved youth who may be otherwise placed into out-of-home placement.”


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MDHHS told State of Reform that this initiative is part of state efforts to to use research and evidence-based practices to develop a “continuum of care” to better meet the needs of justice-involved youth and create better outcomes for them, as well as create a better return on investment from these services.

From the applications, the department plans to give out 3 awards compromising a total of $375,000. According to MDHHS, the funding for this RFP comes from the Juvenile Justice Subcommittee of the Mental Health Diversion Council’s Fiscal Year 2023 allocation.

The RFP is directed toward organizations that specialize in evidence-based services such as Multisystemic Therapy (MST), Multisystemic Therapy for Problem Sexual Behaviors (MST-PSB), Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT), Functional Family Therapy (FFT), and Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) that serve juvenile justice involved youth. 

Through this initiative, MDHHS said they hope to increase the availability and accessibility of these services in order to decrease the number of out-of-home placements for justice-involved youth, to decrease the length of stay for youth who are already in out-of-home settings and promote earlier re-entry into community-based settings, and to decrease cost barriers for implementing evidence-based service models (like MST, BSFT, etc.) with justice-involved youth.

MDHHS also said decreasing reliance on out of home settings and focusing on community-based settings can be more beneficial for these youth.

“Research has shown better outcomes for youth and families engaged in services together within the community versus placement of the youth into a residential facility that may be of great distance from familial supports,” the department stated.

MDHHS said many communities experience difficulty finding a source of sustainable funding after implementing a time-limited grant, and so the department is requiring applicants to provide information on the sustainability of the implemented services after the grant ends. MDHHS also noted that more funding may become available to successful organizations.

Applications for this RFP are due on Oct. 6th, 2022, and the program will take place from January 2023 to September 2023.