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Funding for Initiatives of the Childrens Cabinet
The Childrens Cabinet has never received any direct appropriation or allocation of funds in the State budget. Instead, the cabinet has collaborated, cooperated, and pooled appropriate funding to support its initiatives, as well as to seek grants, in-kind contributions, federal funding, and support from VISTA volunteers wherever appropriate.
However, the Cabinets cornerstone initiative, Communities for Children, has successfully sought significant funding from non-state sources. For example, SAMHSA (the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has granted Communities for Children/DMHMRSAS an award of $1,039,500 over the next three years to strengthen the statewide initiative and three of our local Communities for Children: Augusta Capitol Kids, the Lincoln County Juvenile Task Force, and the River Coalition in Old Town (with NACHME--Native American Children Healing Mother Earth). This will mean that we can develop in these three Communities for Children/Communities of Promise a substance and violence abuse prevention safety net. This is an "infrastructure" grant, designed to support community coalitions. The plan is to provide funding for each of these three local communities to hire people to work on creating supports for children at each stage of their development: Home visiting for parents of children 0-5; the Healthy Learners Program for children in grades K-3; and mentoring and anti-bullying programs for children and youth in grades 4-12. This will be an opportunity to create what we have envisioned all along for some very comprehensive work in local communities to support kids in need of preventative mental health services before they need to become involved with any of our agencies. Muskie School staff will create the evaluation component, and the Coordinated School Health staff will focus some of their work on these communities, piloting some new approaches.