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Welcome to the Youth Opioid Response Project

Youth Opioid Response California 3 Funding Awards Released

The California Youth Opioid Response (YOR California) is pleased to announce 43 grant awards for the third round of State Opioid Response (SOR) funding of $12 million, subsequent to a statewide RFA process, and over 70 applications. 

YOR California seeks to strengthen capacity and access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services, as well as access points to Medication-Assisted Treatment, for youth (ages 12-24) and their families. This opportunity is also designed to foster the creation, coordination and strengthening of local level multi-system networks and to encourage the development of new partnerships between agencies that touch youth.

YOR California is a partnership between the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions and Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. Since its inception, YOR California has provided $34,000,000 including this round, in funding to organizations throughout California, spanning the continuum of prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services for youth.

YOR California is supported by federal State Opioid Response funds through a grant provided by the California Department of Health Care Services.

View list of new grantees

Adolescent Overdose Crisis

Most adults with opioid use disorders (OUDs) started using opioids before the age of twenty-five, with one-third of them before the age of eighteen, Availability of illicit substances use patterns and access to treatment have changed dramatically during the Covid-19 epidemic and increased exposure to fentanyl has resulted in related overdoses and deaths.

Lack of, or limited services, fragmentation of services, funding and regulatory barriers often prevent the comprehensive interventions youth require and the range of settings which can, and should, serve as access points for youth. Capacity for accessible and culturally appropriate, age- appropriate engagement strategies, screening and assessments, linkage to services for all substance use and mental health disorders, family engagement, case management and recovery support services are needed throughout our communities statewide.

Additionally, work is yet to be done in engaging health and behavioral health practitioners, as well as school leadership and staff in an understanding of substance use and related disorders as a chronic disease, harm reduction, medications that can assist treatment, and the complexities of recovery.

Our Structure

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has included youth access to services as a key focus of the Statewide Opioid Response since 2018. Based on the success of the work of our grantees, DHCS has contracted with the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions (CIBHS) and Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP) to for a third two-year grant cycle. These grants are funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) State Opioid Response (SOR) service grant received by DHCS.

Starting in fall 2022, YOR California will continue to provide two-year grants, learning collaborative opportunities, training webinars, professional resources, educational materials and technical assistance to behavioral health and health service providers and stakeholders. YOR California is committed to working across systems touching youth bringing together stakeholders for statewide peer-to-peer learning and discussion of best practices through learning collaboratives, webinars, and workgroups.

Youth Service Leadership Institute

The Youth Opioid Response Project supports champions in developing the leadership and expertise to strengthen the capacity of community based service agencies in the delivery of a continuum of care and services to adolescents and young adults. The 2023 Youth Service Leadership Institute (YSLI) offers participants a six-month program beginning with an in-person immersion training, self-assessment, technical webinars, small group virtual mentoring, materials and resources. The program relies on evidence-based leadership training, adult learning strategies and peer learning.

YSLI offers leadership education to professionals providing services to youth with at least five years of progressively responsible work with, or on behalf of, youth and/or young adults impacted by opioid and stimulant use. The YSLI curriculum emphasizes a leadership approach that is developmentally appropriate, culturally and gender-responsive, and trauma-informed. It prepares youth service professionals to meet the unique behavioral health needs of youth and/or young adults impacted by, or struggling with, opioid and/or stimulant use. YSLI empowers participants to lead programs within their agencies.

View YSLI Resources

YOR Service Model