Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) for Paraprofessionals and Professionals

HRSA-16-193 | Bureau of Health Workforce

Application Accepted: 05/09/2016 to 07/07/2016

Projected Award Date: 09/30/2016

Estimated Award Amount: N/A

Estimated Number of Awards:N/A

Program Description:

This announcement solicits applications for the FY 2016 Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) for Paraprofessionals and Professionals program.  In support of the White House’s Now is the Time initiative, the program aims to expand the mental health and substance abuse (jointly referred to as behavioral health throughout the funding opportunity announcement) workforce serving children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth at risk for developing or who have a recognized behavioral health disorder. Grant recipients will be expected to expand the behavioral health workforce by supporting education and clinical training for behavioral health-related professionals and paraprofessionals.  All internships and field placements need to focus on working with at-risk children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth, and include experiential training.  BHWET grant recipients will help to close the gap in access to behavioral health care services by increasing the numbers of adequately prepared behavioral health providers entering and continuing practice with at-risk children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth.  Grant recipient activities will place special emphasis on prevention and clinical intervention and treatment for those at risk of developing mental and substance use disorders, and the involvement of families in the prevention and treatment of behavioral health conditions. Applicants should be committed to ensuring culturally competent care by increasing diversity in health professions programs and the health workforce.  This commitment extends to ensuring that the workforce is reflective of the diversity of the nation, training programs develop the competencies and skills needed for intercultural understanding and expand cultural fluency, and recognizing that bringing people of diverse backgrounds and experiences together facilitates innovative and strategic practices that enhance the health of all people. Program Requirements – for Paraprofessionals Paraprofessional grant recipients must use BHWET funds for the following activities:  Support students through provision of tuition, fees, and supplies to complete a certificate program in a behavioral health-related paraprofessional field.  Students may be new to the field or may be individuals who are already practicing and want additional credentials to advance their employability. Recruit a diverse group of students in terms of race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, and other demographic factors, who are interested in pursuing a behavioral health-related paraprofessional certificate.   Create more slots in a paraprofessional certificate program(s) to expand the number of students trained with a focus on behavioral health and working with at-risk children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth.  Establish partnerships with a wide range of organizations and community partners to assure recruitment of students from diverse backgrounds, provide opportunities for field placements, career development, and job placement services.  Evaluate the program, collect needed program information, and disseminate findings to appropriate audiences. Allowable allocations and further guidance pertaining to these activities is outlined below.  Student Support (see grant recipient activity #1 above) If awarded funds as a paraprofessional program, no less than 85 percent of a grant recipient’s overall requested budget must be used to support the tuition, fees, and supplies for the enrolled students.  Applicants may request a maximum of $2,000 per student to cover all student support activities (tuition fees and supplies) for the 12-month period.   Administrative and Management Activities (see grant recipient activities #2, 3, 4, and 5 above) Up to 15 percent of an applicant’s overall requested budget may be dedicated to grant recipient activities other than student tuition, fees, and supplies. All education and training by grant recipients must prepare students for work in non-profit and public health care, social service and/or behavioral health organizations focusing on at-risk children, youth and families.  The didactic and experiential training should prepare students to perform a broad range of functions.  Program Requirements – for Professionals Professional grant recipients must use BHWET funds for the following activities: Provide stipend support to graduate-level students for no less than 6 months and no more than 12-months of experiential training (internship or field placement).  Eligible students must be in their final field placement prior to graduation and practice. Recruit a diverse group of students in terms of race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, and other demographic factors, who are interested in pursuing behavioral health practice.  Develop and implement interprofessional training and integration with primary care. Develop and increase the number of field placements and internships focused on serving at-risk children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth. Evaluate the program, collect needed program information, and disseminate findings to appropriate audiences. Stipend Support Activity (grant recipient activity #1 above) No less than 70 percent of a grant recipient’s overall requested budget must be used for stipends to students in field placement or internships, according to the following guidelines: $10,000 per master-level student per year; and $20,000 per doctoral-level psychology internship per year.  Stipends are subsistence allowance for trainees to help defray living expenses during the training experience, and are not provided as a condition of employment, or for tuition, fees, health insurance, or other costs associated with the training program. The stipend must be consistent for all trainees within the institution, and with institutional policy, with regards to payment schedule and procedures. The amounts that can be charged to HRSA are fixed.  Grant recipients may not provide stipends lower than the amounts specified above, however grant recipients may choose to provide higher stipend amounts by including funds from other non-federal sources.  Stipend support is only available for: Doctoral-level Psychology interns in APA-accredited internship programs; Students in master’s-level professional counseling, marriage and family therapy, or psychology programs; and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner programs. No less than 6 months and no more than one year (12 consecutive months) of full stipend support is allowed per student/intern.  In the event that a student terminates early from the program, the stipend must be prorated according to the amount of time spent in training and the grant recipient must contact HRSA to discuss options for the remaining stipend funds. Doctoral-level psychology internship applicants must submit a proposal that illustrates intent to leverage other resources and related ongoing efforts to align with the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers’ (APPIC) stipend level requirements.  The doctoral-level psychology internship students will receive $20,000 of stipend support for one year from HRSA funds per intern.  This is a fixed amount.  The APPIC requires APA-accredited internships provide a stipend per intern that is consistent with regional standards, equal among all trainees, and stated clearly in advance (through promotional materials, the APPIC Directory, etc.).[1]  The difference between the doctoral-level psychology intern stipend maximum of $20,000 and any regional standard above the stipend must be covered by the grant recipient using non-federal funding and must include a written statement in the budget narrative justification. All program applicants must provide a copy of a student commitment letter template, through which students will commit to complete a field placement or internship, and their plan to pursue employment working with children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth at risk

Additional Eligibility

Eligible applicants are: behavioral paraprofessional certificate training programs; and peer paraprofessional certificate training programs; accredited master-level schools and programs of psychology, marriage and family therapy, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners, counselors, including licensed professional counselors and school counselors.  Programs must require a pre-degree clinical field placement in behavioral health as part of the training and a prerequisite for graduation; and American Psychological Association (APA) accredited doctoral-level internships in health service psychology. Current BHWET recipients are not eligible to apply.  Given the current number of BHWET-supported Schools and programs of social work and to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of total FY 2016 funds across the behavioral health continuum from paraprofessionals to professionals, Schools and programs of social work are also not eligible to apply.

Contact Us

Gloria Ortiz

gortiz@hrsa.gov

Phone: 3014431915