RMH receives $3.1 million grant to help at-risk families

rmhRMH Community Health has been awarded a 5-year, $3.1 million grant from the federal department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families to facilitate support for families challenged by substance abuse issues.

The grant will support the Central Shenandoah Valley Family Partnership’s efforts to help families in danger of having children removed from their homes because of substance abuse by a caregiver. As fiscal agent, RMH will oversee administration of the grant to ensure completion of the partnership’s 5-year action plan, including the goal to reduce the number of children placed outside the home by 10 percent annually.

The Central Shenandoah Valley Family Partnership was one of 17 new projects funded nationwide.

“RMH is honored to join local organizations represented in the Central Shenandoah Valley Family Partnership to address and improve outcomes for families affected by substance abuse in our region,” said Kay Harrison, vice president, Business Development.

The grant will allow RMH Behavioral Health to employ two additional substance abuse specialists to serve families in Page, Shenandoah, Augusta, Highland and Bath counties. The grant will also allow placement of an additional substance abuse specialist at the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community Services Board to work with families in Harrisonburg and Rockingham. These substance abuse specialists will be able to visit participating families in the home, reducing transportation barriers to families receiving help.

The grant is the largest awarded to RMH in its 100-year history.

Substance abuse was identified as a major concern for the Valley in the 2012 RMH Community Health Needs Assessment. The assessment showed that the region has a high teen birth rate; higher than average placement of children in foster care; and high rates of founded child abuse and neglect.

Funding from this grant will allow approximately 1,000 family assessments to be completed annually. Also, 350 families will receive support through evidence-based home visiting programs in the Central Virginia Shenandoah Valley region.

“RMH Community Health is excited to provide leadership for this important project,” said Katie Montgomery, RMH Community Health Manager. “Our community has a strong history of supporting families in the Central Shenandoah Valley. This grant will provide additional resources and training for our community partners, enabling us to better serve families and improve home environments for children.”

The service area for this grant includes the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro and the counties of Rockingham, Page, Luray, Augusta, Bath, Rockingham and Highland.

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