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Child & Youth Services Focused on Prevention
On February 18, 2014, Cowlitz County issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify applicants who were prepared to address Child and Youth Services focused on prevention. Available funding for this RFP is estimated to be up to $1,000,000.00 for a two year period beginning July 1, 2014.

Cowlitz County Human Services received 8 proposals in response to the RFP.   Extensive review of the proposals took place through a multi-disciplinary adhoc committee consisting of members from the Cowlitz County Mental Health Advisory Board, the Cowlitz County Substance Abuse Advisory Board, the Cowlitz County Developmental Disabilities Advisory Board, along with review by the Cowlitz County Health Officer and a multi-disciplinary team of Cowlitz County Health and Human Services staff.

Proposals received demonstrated the incredible support and partnerships in the community around children and youth prevention.  Proposals were evaluated using criteria such as evidence-based, best or promising practice programs, measurement of outcomes, need of target populations, and return on investment. 

The Board of County Commissioners accepted Cowlitz County Human Services Department recommendations to fully or partially fund the following proposals:

1.       Cowlitz County WSU Extension- Strengthening Families Program – Full Funding
An evidence-based, best-practice program designed to strengthen families.  The proposed program will serve Cowlitz County parents and youth aged 10-14.  Cost-effective program meets the heart of the definition of "mental health dollars being well spent".

2.       Cowlitz Family Health Center - The Phoenix House – Full Funding
Transitional housing services for Cowlitz residents that are embedded in a wrap-around model that includes referrals for substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, physical health care, domestic violence services, and/or sexual assault services.  The Phoenix House coupled with the Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP) program provides primary prevention to break the cycle of addiction and prevent early childhood trauma.

3.       Columbia Wellness - Healing, Intervention, and Prevention Program (HIP)- Partial Funding
Program intended to serve children age 3-18 and their parents.  Services are evidence-based, fidelity, best-practice, or promising practice and are to be provided in local agencies such as Head Start, the Emergency Support Shelter, and the Cowlitz Youth Services Center.

4.       Cowlitz Indian Tribe- Healing of the Canoe Program- Partial Funding
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities considers the Healing of the Canoe intervention a promising practice.  The program intends to convey life skills to adolescents to promote a sense of cultural belonging, optimism, and resilience, and to help prevent substance abuse and the development of behavioral health problems.  Native Americans suffer from mental illness and substance abuse disproportionately compared to the majority population.  This program will provide prevention-focused services to American Indian and Alaska Native youth in Cowlitz County. 



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