Innovation Grants


The Center is partnered with the Montana Children’s Mental Health Bureau (CMHB) to award funding to support innovation in children’s services. $1 million in combined funding has been awarded to 13 outstanding organizations across Montana.

The Innovation Grants fund well-developed projects that have demonstrated a high potential to be effective at meeting targeted benchmarks, are able to be replicated in similar communities, and adopt evidence-based strategies in the following two programmatic areas:

1. Supporting strong transitions to adulthood

Goal: To identify effective and replicable strategies to support youth transitioning out of state Medicaid children’s mental health services into adulthood, with the intent of helping these youth achieve and maintain mental health, economic self-support, and self-sufficiency.

Youth age out of Montana Medicaid mental health services at age 18 or 19, and they need help preparing for this transition. Youth who leave care without a strong support system in place can struggle to navigate applying for health care coverage, continuing their mental health services, finding a job, and securing housing. Youth transitioning out of care without support systems are more likely to experience homelessness, run-ins with the criminal justice system, and sex trafficking at much higher rates that other youth. Applicants must identify ways they will help youth to avoid these risks and set them up to thrive.

2. Enhancing family engagement

Goal: To create effective and replicable strategies to engage family members of youth who are served through the state children’s mental health system and who are at risk of or have been placed outside of the family home due to abuse, neglect, exploitation, and behavioral health challenges. Successful proposals will focus on one or both of the following areas:

  • Improving the engagement, involvement and capacity of families to provide for the care and support of their child following any out-of-home placement.

  • Improving ways to engage family members in community- and home-based care that prevents the need for out-of-home placement.


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