This Action Guide promotes a distinct strategy for pursuing funding, quite different from the strategies you typically hear about: It guides you away from seeking funds for very specific programs and toward utilizing emerging policy opportunities in your state to engage officials in understanding how child development and universal prevention might support their goals. In tandem with asset mapping, this approach is more likely to motivate officials to work with you to find opportunities to invest in such initiatives.
The sections in this prong are designed to help you understand the mechanics of how policy decisions in education, child and youth development, and mental health get enacted in legislation and then operationalized in budgets, agency regulations, and guidelines that have budgetary implications.
Policy concerns relevant to child development and prevention initiatives are likely to emerge in your state or local community. In general, you will want to search for and partner with those that focus on school and community environment, school climate, or other broad prevention initiatives rather than on those that target services for individual children – although you may be able to add more public health or structural approaches to these, too. As consultant Bradley J. Hull notes, “Every issue has its ‘sweet spots’ for each level of policymaking.”
To be successful with this strategic prong, staying up-to-date on the ever-changing policy environment of education, health and mental health is crucial. It is particularly important to pay special attention to state and local policy changes and the impact of federal regulations. Doing so will help you scope out what policy opportunities are available in your state or locality, and help you identify policy levers in the budget, legislative, and regulatory processes, in order to anticipate immediate and long-term next steps.
 Bradley J. Hull, Ph.D., personal communication to Olga Acosta Price, May 27, 2014.
 This Guide focuses primarily on state funding opportunities, with some consideration of local possibilities. For a Guide to federal funding opportunities for prevention and social-emotional learning activities, see the May 2014 publication of the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools and the Center on Education Policy, “A Guide to Federal Education Programs That Can Fund K-12 Universal Prevention and Social and Emotional Learning Activities,” http://www.healthinschools.org/
This Section covers two topics (refer to the tabs at the top of the page):
Updated June 2015
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