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Community of Practice: Reentry for Youth with Developmental Disabilities

Grant to a New York Nonprofit, IHE, or Organization
for Reentry Services for Youth with Disabilities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

07/20/18 3:00 PM Receipt


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Grant to a New York nonprofit organizations, IHE, hospital, disability-service organization, community-based organization, or consortia to support youth with developmental disabilities who have entered the juvenile justice system. LOIs are due June 22. The selected grantee will provide comprehensive and supportive reentry services.


Youth with disabilities are at a greater risk of being involved with the juvenile justice system than the general population. Existing research shows that youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) are commonly under-identified in the juvenile justice system with limited or nonexistent opportunities for assessment to determine an individual’s needs, often leading to poorly suited placements. When youth have been assessed and determined to have a disability, they are often placed in inappropriate settings that do not meet their therapeutic, educational, medical, or social-emotional needs, due to a lack of disability awareness training in the juvenile justice system.

In addition to the above systemic barriers, the issues justice-involved youth with ID/DD face are compounded by racial and ethnic disparities. National data estimates that 60 to 75 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have one or more diagnosable disabilities, with an overrepresentation of African-American and Latino youth. Given in- depth research, recent shifts in New York State legislation, and stakeholder input from across New York, there is a demonstrated need for a grant initiative focused on juvenile justice for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD).

In 2017, New York State passed “Raise the Age,” a hallmark legislation that marked the beginning of a broader cultural shift in how New York views and approaches youthful offenders. As a result, New York agencies and community-based organizations are beginning to transition youth out of adult facilities and into more appropriate placements, including less restrictive and community-based settings. During this time of transition, there is a need to research, develop, and pilot initiatives tailored to meet the unique needs of one of New York’s most impacted communities, justice-involved youth with ID/DD. These systemic changes increase the impetus of New York State to establish meaningful reentry supports for youth transitioning out of the juvenile justice system and back into their communities, including continuing educational opportunities, meaningful skill development and employment options, as well as possibilities for community engagement.

As a result of input from stakeholders and state agency partners, in addition to recent statewide legislative reforms, the NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) is funding a grant initiative to establish a statewide Community of Practice and up to four (4) county-level grant projects focused on the establishment of reentry supports3 for youth (ages 14-24) with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities. The primary aim of this grant is to create a statewide learning community to identify, test, and share reentry practices that result in successful outcomes for youth with ID/DD.

A Community of Practice refers to a group of professionals who share a field or concern, and through ongoing interaction they learn to improve their practice with shared resources, experiences, tools, and stories. The Community of Practice model is ideal for this work because it leverages existing resources, encourages interagency collaboration, capitalizes on the current momentum focused on improving outcomes for justice-involved youth, and creates a community to share best practices in providing reentry supports and services for youth with ID/DD.

For the purposes of this initiative, the term reentry is defined as the process that culminates in a youth’s transition out of juvenile detention facilities, semi-restrictive, or community-based settings in a way that promotes the greatest likelihood of sustainable success and mitigates negative outcomes as a result of justice-system involvement. The expectation is that reentry programs will help reduce a youth’s future involvement with the justice system and will encourage a broad-based coalition to support the successful re-integration of youth into the community. Likewise, it is anticipated that youth will be linked to opportunities to gain education and employment-related skills that will lead to meaningful career pathways.

This grant initiative seeks to address the following needs:
-Need for cross-agency planning and partnerships to provide services and supports for youth in the juvenile justice system.
-Need for restorative practices, mediation, and trauma-informed services and supports after an individual has been involved in the juvenile justice system.
-Need for culturally competent and community-based supports, services, and approaches to reentry.
-Need for individual and family involvement in Transition Planning.
-Need for wrap-around services and the identification of a circle of support and other community sponsors who will maintain an active role in an individual’s transition back into the community.

To do this, the DDPC will select a single statewide entity to:

In Year 1:
-Conduct a landscape analysis and compile background research on existing, culturally-appropriate national and statewide reentry models for justice involved youth with ID/DD with a focus on best and promising practices.
-Collaborate with the New York State Unified Court System, Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs, to research and survey evidence-based, reentry planning models.
-Establish a statewide Community of Practice on Reentry for Youth with Developmental Disabilities where stakeholders can connect, share, collaborate and learn; thereby building their knowledge and skills capacity with a focus on improving reentry services for youth with ID/DD.
-Create technical assistance tools and resources for Community of Practice collaborative teams.
-Create an online Technical Assistance Support Center where Community of Practice collaborative teams can access technical assistance tools and resources.

Years 2-5:
-Develop and administer a competitive application process to award four (4) county-level collaborative grants.
-In years 3-5, provide a minimum annual stipend of $35,000/yr. to each of the four (4) county-level collaborative teams to support their collaborative efforts.
-Provide ongoing technical assistance, guidance, oversight and evaluation to county-level collaborative teams, as well as statewide stakeholders, throughout the length of the initiative.
-Convene annual meetings of county-level collaborative teams to provide intensive technical assistance and to encourage peer-exchange, networking, and collaboration.
-Partner county-level grantees with local Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) to offer mediation and/or restorative circles within juvenile detention facilities, and facilitate transition planning for individuals and their circles of support in order to develop a structured and multi-tiered reentry plan for program participants.
-Enhance each collaborative teams’ ability to work with, serve, and understand the unique needs of youth with ID/DD.
-Develop an evaluation plan that includes process evaluation, outcomes data collection and analysis, protocols and timelines for the Community of Practice, and an assessment of long-term impacts of the project that can inform future training and systems capacity building efforts.
-Work with the NYS Unified Court System to do a cost-benefit analysis and determine the most effective mechanisms for reentry planning, in addition to the durability and efficacy of reentry agreements.
-Establish a Project Advisory Board that includes people with ID/DD and other disabilities, DDPC Council members, Community Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC) staff, State systems representatives, county courts administrators and staff, at least 1 individual with ID/DD who has personal experience with the juvenile justice system, and other relevant stakeholders that will support the development of the grant. The Project Advisory Board must represent the racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity of New York State.
-Conduct a Landscape Analysis of existing resources and initiatives available in New York State, as well as successful national and statewide models for justice- involved youth with ID/DD.
-Develop a Plan of Action to conduct a competitive application process that will lead to the identification of the four (4) counties as Community of Practice grantees. Selection should ensure geographic diversity (e.g. both urban and rural counties) and include both counties who have strong and well-developed resources, as well as counties who have a demonstrated need to develop more resources.
-Establish a Statewide Community of Practice on Reentry for Youth with Developmental Disabilities and a Technical Assistance Support Center dedicated to showcasing existing best and promising reentry models for justice involved youth with ID/DD, highlighting technical assistance tools and resources, and providing a forum for teams to share progress and collaborate.
-Facilitate System’s Change by encouraging the adoption of best and promising practices modeled by Community of Practice collaborative teams by state agencies, community-based organizations, or key stakeholders to ensure long-term sustainability.
-Draft and implement a Sustainability Plan that catalogues any System’s Change and identifies mechanisms for the continued operation of the Community of Practice, including future funding sources, as well as the dissemination of any tools and resources developed through the initiative to ensure success beyond the conclusion of DDPC funding.
-Develop an Evaluation Plan that includes provision for ongoing data collection, analysis, protocols and timelines for the Community of Practice project to evaluate outputs, short-term outcomes, as well as the long-term impacts of the project.
-Compile a Comprehensive Final Report summarizing promising practices and lessons learned, and a toolkit highlighting practical strategies for establishing successful reentry programming supports.

Expected Outcomes:

Short-term outcomes:
-County-level and statewide stakeholders will increase their knowledge, and subsequently amend policies and establish relevant programs, surrounding the needs of justice-involved youth with ID/DD.
-Community-based organizations will increase their knowledge and skills regarding the needs of justice-involved youth with ID/DD and increase their capacity to meet these needs.
-Youth with ID/DD will increase their ability to advocate for their needs throughout the transition and reentry processes within the justice system.

Long-Term Outcomes:
-Community-based organizations will collaborate with one another, and partner with statewide agencies to ensure targeted, inclusive, wrap-around supports for justice-involved youth with disabilities returning to their communities.
-Justice-involved youth with disabilities will experience increased community support and participation through increased educational and employment- related skill building opportunities.
-Court administration and probation staff, juvenile detention facility staff and oversight, as well as other systems stakeholders, will demonstrate an increased capacity to more effectively support justice-involved youth with disabilities to transition back to their communities.
-Regional and statewide systems-level oversight agencies will implement programming and policies that effectively serve justice-involved youth with disabilities.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183860

Number of Grants:

The DDPC announces funding to select one grantee.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $1,500,000 ($300,000 per year for 5 years)

Term of Contract:

The grant term will be for 5 years.

The anticipated contract start date is April 1, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
-Nonprofit organizations*
-Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals
-Disability-service organizations
-Community-based organizations
-Consortia, groups, or partnerships among organizations

Organizations whose staff was involved in the development of the Request for Proposal are not eligible to directly apply to be included as a sub-contractor for another applicant.

*Note: the lead applicant cannot be a for-profit organization; however, for-profit organizations may serve as subcontractors to the lead applicant.

Pre-Application Information:

All interested applicants are required to submit an electronic Letter of Intent via email. The one-page Letter of Intent is due by 3:00 PM on June 22, 2018.

All final grant applications must be received by the DDPC Office by 3:00 PM on July 20, 2018.

-RFP Release Date: June 6, 2018
-Letter of Intent Due: June 22, 2018
-Closing Date for Questions: June 29, 2018
-Questions Posted by: July 2, 2018
-Changes to RFP: July 2, 2018
-Proposal Due Date: July 20, 2018
-Anticipated Award Announcement; December 1, 2018
-Anticipated Contract Start Date: April 1, 2019

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For more information, or to submit a Letter of Intent, contact:

Kimberly Berg

Printed copies should be mailed to:

Sheila M. Carey, Executive Director
NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 1230
Albany, NY 12210
Attn: Youth Reentry Community of Practice

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York