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OMHSAS and PDE Receive Safe Schools Grant
October 22, 2013

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has been awarded a federal Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) grant. The Department of Public Welfare worked closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) in developing the proposal and the two agencies will share responsibility for implementing the grant. The basis for commitment to the SS/HS model is the growing realization among education, behavioral health, and juvenile justice officials, along with youth and families, of the need to join forces to address the most difficult challenges for schools and communities.

This will be a four-year project with over $2 million per year in federal funding. The purpose of the grant is to develop exemplary safe and supportive schools and communities in three local education agencies (LEAs) and, ultimately, throughout Pennsylvania. The LEAs are Penncrest School District, Crawford County; Northeastern School District, York County; and the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit. The state will work with these school systems and their county partners to develop local needs assessments and implement plans that organize the resources of schools, child serving agencies, and communities. The planning process will identify ways to decrease bullying, youth violence, and criminal behavior, as well as promote the healthy development, social and emotional learning, and academic achievement of all students.

This initiative will facilitate the creation of a Pennsylvania model for a comprehensive, multi-tiered framework that brings together service agencies, community resources, schools, and families with a dedicated commitment to fully support the healthy development of young people.

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