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Circles of Care

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SAMHSA's Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center

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Circles of Care is a program that supports children with severe emotional disturbances and their families. It is also a grant program for AI/AN communities.

The SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) administers the Circles of Care program, a three-year discretionary infrastructure grant for American Indian/Alaska Native communities. CMHS awards the grants to:

  • American Indian and Alaska Native tribes
  • Tribal organizations
  • Urban Indian programs
  • Tribal colleges

Supported by SAMHSA leadership, the program began in 1998 as a result of planning with tribal leaders, American Indian and Alaska Native mental health professionals, and advocates. Until the creation of the Native Connections program in 2014, the Circles of Care grant program was the only SAMHSA grant program focused specifically on American Indian and Alaska Native communities without competition from states, counties, or cities.

Program Goals

The primary goals of the Circles of Care grant program are to:

  • Plan for the development of a community-based system of care model for children with mental health challenges and their families
  • Develop local capacity and infrastructure to assist tribal communities in obtaining funding and resources to implement a system of care model to improve the mental health and wellness of their children, youth, and families

Circles of Care Grantees

Grantees must use Circles of Care grant funds to support:

  • Planning and development of infrastructure
  • Overall systems change
  • Local capacity building to improve mental health, substance abuse prevention and wellness services, and supports for children, youth, and families

Additionally, grantees must:

  • Strongly emphasize cross-system collaboration
  • Include family, youth, and community resources
  • Use culturally relevant approaches

Grantees may not use Circles of Care grant funds to provide direct services.

Specific items required under the Circles of Care program include:

  • Community Needs Assessment
  • Community Readiness Assessment
  • Community Resource/Asset Map
  • Social Marketing/Public Education Plan
  • Process evaluation
  • Local evaluation plan
  • System of Care Model (a “Blueprint”)
  • Implementation Plan, including a feasibility study for the Blueprint
  • Outcome Measurement Plan for the Blueprint

A sample resource for Circles of Care grantees is Planning a System of Care for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities: A Crosswalk, which provides an overview of the Circles of Care program and its process.

TTA Cohorts

Cohort 1: 1998–2001
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, SD
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, OK
Fairbanks Native Association/Tanana Chiefs Conference, AK
Feather River Tribal Health, CA
First Nations Community Healthsource, NM
In-Care Network, MT
Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, MI
Oglala Lakota Tribe, SD
Urban Indian Health Board, CA

Cohort 2: 2001–2004
Blackfeet Nation, MT
Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes, AK
Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, AZ
Puyallup Tribal Health Authority, WA
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, AZ
United Indian Involvement, CA
Ute Indian Tribe, UT

Cohort 3: 2005–2008
Cook Inlet Tribal Council, AK
Denver Indian Family Resource Center, CO
Muscogee (Creek) Nation, OK
Native American Rehabilitation, OR
Quileute Tribe, WA
Sinte Gleska University, SD
Tulsa Indian Health Care Resource Center, OK

Cohort 4: 2008–2011
American Indian Center of Chicago, IL
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, SD
San Felipe Pueblo, NM
Karuk Tribe, CA
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, ND
Nebraska Urban Indian Centers, NE
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, CT
American Indian Health and Family Services, MI

Cohort 5: 2011–2014
American Indian Education Center, OH
Boys and Girls Club, Northern Cheyenne Nation, MT
Fresno American Indian Health Project, CA
Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio, OH
Tohono O’odham Community College, AZ
Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center, OR
Yurok Tribe, CA

Cohort 6: 2014–2017
Hoh Tribe, WA
Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley, CA
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, SD
Makah Indian Tribe, WA
Osage Nation, OK
Quartz Valley Indian Reservation, CA
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, WI
Seattle Indian Health Board, WA
Tanana Chiefs Conference, AK
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, CO

Cohort 7: 2017–2020
American Indian Health and Services, CA
Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, Inc., NM
Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribes, NV
Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, MT
Kansas Kickapoo Tribe, KS
Maniilaq Health Center, AK
Phoenix Native American Community Health Center, AZ
Sacramento Native American Health Center, CA
San Diego American Indian Health Center, CA
Susanville Indian Rancheria, CA
Toiyabe Indian Health Project, Inc., CA
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, NE
Yakama Nation, OR

Cohort 8: 2020–2023
Alaska Native Tribal Health, AK
Central Oklahoma American Indian Health Council, Inc., OK
Comanche Nation, OK
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, MT
Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, & Siuslaw Indians, OR
Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board, Inc., AZ
Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center, WI
Great Plains Tribal Leader's Health Board, SD
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Inc., OK
Lac Courte Oreilles, WI
Native American Community Clinic, MN
Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, SD
Ohkay Owingeh, NM
Pueblo of Nambe, NM
Round Valley Health Center, Inc., CA
San Carlos Apache Tribe, AZ
Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, CA
South Dakota Urban Indian Health, Inc., SD
Southern Plains Tribal Health Board Foundation, OK
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, WA
United Indian Health Services, Inc., CA
Wichita & Affiliated Tribes, OK

SAMHSA Contact

Jeffrey M. Bedree
Public Health Advisor
Child, Adolescent & Family Branch
Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857

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