Press Release - July 3, 2013

Contact:  Andrea Wojcik
302-633-2501 or 985-1330 (c)

DE Children’s Department Announces Roll Out of Mini Grants for After School and Summer Programming

Mini Grants are first use of funds approved by General Assembly for expanded mental health services

Wilmington The Delaware Children’s Department is releasing up to $200,000 worth of mini grants so that organizations statewide can apply for funds to offer end of summer and after school programming aimed at violence and suicide prevention. The mini grants are being administered by the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services (PBHS), under the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF). Funds to support expanded youth mental health services were part of Governor Jack Markell’s FY 14 Budget proposal and were fully funded under the FY 14 Budget just passed by the General Assembly.

“Many of our young people are in need of constructive activities outside of school,” said Governor Markell. “This funding provides opportunities for positive social interactions and learning new skills, while also addressing the mental health needs of our youth and ensuring their overall safety and well-being.”

“We know that after-school and summer programs have many positive impacts on the kids that participate, including improved performance and better behavior in school. These grants are an important part of our effort to improve the overall well-being of Delaware's children,” said Lt. Governor Matt Denn who spearheaded the initiative.

Two point two million dollars in overall funding was approved to support targeted prevention programs. The mini grants will be available for use between August and December. PBHS plans to make larger, more comprehensive grants which will run from October 2013 through June 2014, available in August. DSCYF Cabinet Secretary Jennifer Ranji said the mini grants will provide immediate support for organizations.

“We chose to roll out a portion of the funding through mini grants now, to allow organizations to take immediate advantage of the resources that have just been made available. We are looking forward to working with our community partners in this prevention effort.”

Applicants can request funding for programs that address suicide and/or violence prevention. The programming and/or activities may be academic, cultural, artistic, or agricultural in nature, and activities may occur in community centers, faith-based institutions, and educational settings. The primary targeted population is youth and their families, where “youth” is defined as individuals 18 years of age and younger.

Public, private non-profit agencies; public or private colleges and universities; faith-based organizations; local school districts; and city and county governments in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties are eligible to apply.

Grant applications can be found online at or by calling Deanna Watson at (302) 633-2586; or emailing her at .

The Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, are dependent, have mental health or substance problems, have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts, as well as prevention services targeted toward all youth. For more information, please visit .