Annual Fatherhood Solutions conference seeking proposals

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cii2Children's Institute, Inc.
invites you to submit a workshop proposal for its Annual Fatherhood Solutions Conference, scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015, in Los Angeles, CA.

This dynamic gathering has proven to be popular for both professionals and fathers. This year's theme — "Father's Day: It happens 365 times a year!" — reflects the importance that fathers play in the daily lives of their children, families and within the broader community. 

The goal of this conference is to educate, train and create dialogue on the impact of fathers in child welfare systems, foster care, early childhood education, school readiness and child wellness/resiliency.

In keeping with the multidisciplinary spirit of the program, we encourage practitioners, educators, researchers and advocates from all aspects of social services, child welfare and mental health to participate as both presenters and attendees. 

In addition to providing professionals with the latest research, best practices and innovations, there is a designated track for fathers to help them gain knowledge and practical parenting skills.

Reaching eligible families through Community Partners

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The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign invites you to attend a Campaign Webinar: 

  • Reaching Eligible Families through Community Partners
    Thursday, December 11, 2014
    2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST 
  • Low-income families often rely on trusted community organizations for help applying for valuable benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, nutrition assistance and home energy assistance. Partnering with such programs can help you extend the reach of your Medicaid and CHIP outreach and enrollment efforts. Join us on Thursday, December 11, at 2:00 p.m. ESTfor the next Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign webinar to learn more about potential partnerships and strategies to reach and enroll more eligible children and parents in Medicaid and CHIP.
  • Register Here
  • We Want to Hear From You!  
    What community organizations have you partnered with to help connect eligible children and parents with Medicaid and CHIP? Please contact us at or 1-855-313-KIDS (5437). We may feature your organization in a future Campaign Notes eNewsletter or webinar. Please also contact us with any questions about the webinar.

Advancing the knowledge about the cultural competence of “front-line” treatment professionals

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Hey Network faithful, if you are a front-line professional, are friends with one, and heck, maybe even related to one, take advantage of a wonderful opportunity to 1) help out Megan Gandy, a loyal Network faithful doctoral student, and 2) expand knowledge about how staff members view lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) issues in youth. We are helping Megan spread the word about this survey opportunity by circulating her invitation email (see below).

Get on it Network faithful. Time to pay it forward!

Request for "front-line" treatment professionals to participate in a survey designed to knowledge about how staff members view lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) issues in youth


Thank you for taking the time to read this note. I am excited to invite you to complete a short one-time survey. Its purpose is to help advance knowledge about the cultural competence of “front-line” treatment professionals (e.g., group home staff, treatment parents, substitute caregivers, behavioral technicians, case managers, etc.) who work with youth who have mental health problems. The survey will expand knowledge about how staff members view lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) issues in youth. I am inviting participants who work at agencies throughout the mid-Atlantic region. It is not necessary for you to know anything about LGBTQ issues in order to participate.

I am a doctoral student in Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, and this survey is for my dissertation. I worked in residential, inpatient, and community based mental health care for over five years before I returned to graduate school. My practice background helped me recognize how complex and critical front-line workers are in the treatment and care of youth. It also made me realize that the field needs better ways to understand and explore their approaches, behaviors, and attitudes when working with youth.

The survey should take you about 20-30 minutes to complete, and you may access it at any computer or mobile device with internet access. If you can’t complete the entire survey in one sitting, you can save your answers and return to it later. If you do decide to participate, you can enter into a weekly drawing for a $50 gift card. Drawings will be held every Friday (starting November 21st) until the close of the survey, December 19th, or until we reach 250 participants (whichever comes first).

Participation in the survey is voluntary. Your answers to the survey questions will be anonymous, and in no way tied back to you or the agency you work for. Results will be reported only in aggregate so that individuals cannot be identified. At the end of the survey, there is an opportunity to enter a raffle for a $50 gift card.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Your input is very important to me, and I look forward to learning more about this important area of the field.


Megan E. Gandy, MSW, LCSW
Ph.D. Candidate
School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University

gandyMegan Gandy is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her substantive area of interest is mental health services research with a special focus on the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth in treatment settings. Her dissertation research, titled “Assessing LGBTQ Cultural Competency in Direct Care Youth Workers,” involves the creation of a measurement tool to assess LGBTQ-related cultural competency in paraprofessional workers who provide mental health services to children and adolescents. In the coming years, she plans to follow up this project with a grant to develop, deliver, and evaluate LGBTQ-focused cultural competency training for professionals and paraprofessionals. 

CMS awards $3.9 million to improve access to quality health care services for American Indian and Alaska Native Children

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Grant awards will support Medicaid and CHIP outreach and enrollment efforts

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded $3.9 million for outreach and enrollment efforts aimed at American Indian and Alaska Native children eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The grant awards will fund activities to engage schools and tribal agencies in Medicaid and CHIP outreach and enrollment activities.

CMS awarded grant funds to health programs operated by the Indian Health Services, tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian organizations located in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

“We are very pleased to support efforts that help eligible American Indian and Alaska Native children gain access to affordable health coverage,” said Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Cindy Mann. “More people with health coverage also benefits local health care facilities, allowing them to offer more services and improve health care for the whole community.”

Several grantees will receive funds to conduct activities focused on helping eligible teens enroll in coverage. Grantees will work to ensure that eligible children retain coverage for as long as they qualify and will help guide families through the application process for Medicaid and CHIP.

Since 2009, the United States has made substantial progress toward reducing the number of children who remain uninsured, and toward providing health coverage to all children who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP. Despite this significant progress, serious health coverage disparities persist, particularly for American Indian and Alaska Native children. Research shows that eligible American Indian and Alaska Native children are less likely to participate in Medicaid and CHIP and more likely to be uninsured compared with all children.

These awards, authorized under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 and extended by the Affordable Care Act, will help ensure American Indian and Alaska Native children have opportunities to get quality health care services which may not be available through their local Indian health care provider.

In states with expanded Medicaid, more parents and other adults in the family could be eligible for health coverage than in the past and can apply at any time.

For more information and a complete summary of the current American Indian and Alaska Native Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment grants, visit 

MACPAC requests comments on children's health care coverage

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The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) is interested in learning the views of stakeholder organizations on policies to help ensure affordable and adequate health care coverage for children. To read the memorandum with background and specifications for comments, please download the PDF document (here).

Comments are due on or before 12 noon, December 19, 2014. To submit comments, please email Joanne Jee at

Public Comments
The Commission meets publicly in Washington, DC to discuss Medicaid and CHIP issues and policy questions and to develop its reports and recommendations. At these meetings, commission staff present research and policy options for the Commissioners to discuss. Time for public comment will always be provided on the agenda.

Agenda, session briefs, and transcripts for each meeting will be posted as soon as they are available. Agendas and session briefs are usually posted one week before the meeting; transcripts and presentation slides are available three to five days after the meeting.

Opportunity for Stakeholders to Comment on MACPAC Deliberations
MACPAC's policies and recommendations are informed not only by our analytic work, but also by consulting with states, state Medicaid directors and also from input from Medicaid and CHIP's various stakeholders. In addition to meeting with stakeholders directly, and obtaining input from comments made at our public meetings, we will also solicit comments on our agenda via this website. To submit comments, please

Comments to the agenda may be submitted from the time the agenda is made public and for two weeks thereafter. In submitting your comments, please include your name and affiliation. MACPAC is unable to respond to individual comments, nor can we guarantee that comments will be specifically reflected in our work products. Please, however, be assured that your input will be given all due consideration and shared with the Commissioners.

How mindful are we?

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Hey, Network faithful, I hope you are paying attention to the subtle but dramatic shift taking place in America. Slowly but surely, more and more of us are becoming increasingly mindful. Now this is not the tambourine shaking, levitating, chanting mindfulness that I practiced in my college days... Well, it kind of is, but so much more, and solidly based in scientific research. My goodness - A left and right brain marriage made in heaven!

Click on this infographic from the good folks at the Mindful Society and let it seep in slowly. We will  be sharing treasures like these on a regular basis so cozy up and get your mindfulness on!


Heroin, Let's have the conversation!

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Hey Network faithful, take note - The National Family Dialogue has just confirmed Peter Gaumond, Chief, of the Recovery Branch,  Executive Offices of the White House's National Drug Control Policy, as their special keynote speaker. Dang, Shannon Crossbear and Sharon LeGore, founders of the National Family Dialogue, are on fire with great offerings they continue to offer month after month. Read the description below and sign up!


  • Special Key Speaker – Peter Gaumond, Chief, of the Recovery Branch, Executive Offices of the White House's National Drug Control Policy, with ONDCP’s Cecelia Spitznas and June Sivilli.
  • This call will be held next Wednesday,  November 19 from 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Eastern Time  
  • Toll Free Call in Information: Phone: 1-888-453-4221 Pass code: 171414       
  • Mark your calendars now, you won’t want to miss this call to discuss the “Heroin Crisis” in many states across this nation, what ONDCP is doing to address this issue and what we can do to help!

National Council accepting nominations for 2015 Advocacy Leadership Award

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Hey Network faithful, take note – the National Behavioral Health Council is accepting nominations for
the 2015 Advocacy Leadership Awards, to recognize individuals and organizations for their achievements in community, state and federal advocacy and their public policy successes to expand access to services and supports for persons with mental illnesses and addictions.

Last year, Network Advisory Council member and founder of the International Bipolar Foundation, Muffy Walker, was one of the esteemed recipients of the Advocacy Leadership Award. Look around Network faithful, we are a collection of amazing advocates. Let's keep the Network love flowing at full throttle. The deadline for nominations is November 19th so get out the old #2 pencil and start to scribblin'! 

Here is the announcement from the National Council:

November 3, 2014 (Washington, DC) — The National for Behavioral Health (National Council) is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Advocacy Leadership Awards, supported by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, to recognize individuals and organizations for their achievements in community, state and federal advocacy and their public policy successes to expand access to services and supports for persons with mental illnesses and addictions.

Nominations are accepted in three categories:

  • Individual Achievement in Advocacy: Recognizing an advocate engaged in outstanding work in behavioral health policy and legislative or regulatory advocacy. 
  • Organizational Achievement in Advocacy: Recognizing a behavioral health organization that achieved significant results through advocacy for local, state or federal legislation, regulations or other public policies that increase access to mental health and addiction treatment services.
  • Elected Official Service in Advocacy: Recognizing a state or local elected official (e.g., governor, mayor, county board official, elected attorney general) who promoted public policies that increase access to mental health and addiction treatment services.

The Advocacy Leadership Awards are a part of the National Council Awards of Excellence that incorporate 17 categories in total. All nominations are accepted through an online submission process and must be completed by November 19, 2014.  

Honorees receive $10,000 to be donated to a nonprofit of their choice and are recognized at the Celebration of Excellence event during the 2015 National Council Conference in Orlando, FL (travel expenses paid). 

Advocacy Leadership Award honorees in 2014 included Mary Ruiz of Manatee Glens in Bradenton, Florida; the Texas Council of Community Centers; and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Read about all 2014 honorees.

2015 Open Enrollment season begins in 8 days!

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Are you involved with efforts to assist Americans in enrolling in health care coverage? If so, this CMS webinar is for you!

2015 Open Enrollment webinar announcement
Get ready, we are 8 days away from the 2015 Open Enrollment season!  There is a lot to get done to prepare over the coming weeks. 

We welcome you to join us for the Champion webinar: Preparing for 2015 Open Enrollment-Review of New Resources and Updates on Wednesday, November12th. With enrollment less than 5 days away, the webinar will provide you with the most up-to-date information and resources for open enrollment. Please email us with any specific questions or resources that you would like us to cover. You can submit questions in advance to

  • WhenWednesday, November 12, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. ET
  • How: Webinar link:  
    Participant Number: (800) 837-1935
    Conference ID:            30220953
  • Sign Up Now
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