Denver ReCAST

A city and community collaborative toward healing and resiliency in communities after stress and trauma.

In response to the rising violence facing Denver youth, the City and County of Denver was awarded a $1 million federal Resiliency for Communities Affected by Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) grant over five years that is aimed at providing services that implement evidence-based violence prevention, create opportunities for community youth engagement, and link at-risk youth and their families to trauma-informed behavioral health services.

Denver ReCAST will partner six city agencies with community-based organizations (CBOs) in a coordinated effort to assist high-risk youth and families and promote resiliency and equity among communities that have faced the burden of violence/trauma.

About Denver ReCAST

Denver ReCAST is focused on seven objectives from the Denver YPAT Comprehensive 2020 Plan that align with mental and behavioral strategies. Denver ReCAST strategic navigation plan provides an outline for the work that will be funded and supported throughout the initiative. The navigation plan will be an important tool for the Community Advisory Boards to help guide and promote the work of Denver ReCAST.

Vision

Healthy and safe neighborhoods the support trauma-informed services, improving well-being of youth and families impacted by violence.

Purpose

Advancing and supporting community-led and youth-informed mental wellness services through collaborative partnerships between the city and community leaders.

Values

  • Equity-focused
  • Youth-engaged
  • Trauma-informed
  • Youth and adult collaboration
  • Evidence-based youth violence prevention tactics
  • Community-based action and collaborative research

Additional Information

The Denver ReCAST program is a multi-year grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA has allocated the ReCAST grant to cities across the United States where youth and families face rising rates of violence/trauma along with recent civil unrest due to social-economic systems rooted in discrimination and underinvestment. The goal of the program is for local community entities to work together in ways that lead to improved behavioral health, empowered community residents, reductions in trauma, and sustained community change.

Denver is among nine other cities and counties in the 2021 ReCAST Cohort.

Denver ReCAST Community Advisory Boards

Denver ReCAST is convening an Adult and Youth Advisory board, each with 15 diverse individuals representing neighborhoods heavily impacted by violence. The city will engage with the board members to ensure the funds used are aligned with Denver ReCAST’s navigation plan goals, with an emphasis on supporting community-led youth informed mental wellness services.

Denver ReCAST Advisory Boards

Additional Information

The ReCAST program is funded by a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant designed to assist high-risk youth and families and promote resilience and equity in communities that have recently faced civil unrest.

Strategies to do this work include:

  • Implementation of evidence-based violence prevention
  • Community youth engagement programs
  • Linkages to trauma-informed behavioral health services

The goal of the program is for local community entities to work together in ways that lead to improved behavioral health, empowered community residents, reductions in trauma, and sustained community change.

City Partners

Denver Office of Financial Empowerment and Protection

  • Will use funding to support an Apprenticeship Transition Counselor in its new College and Career Accessibility Support Alliance (CCASA) program to provide guidance on skilled trades field and linking students to industry-led apprenticeships.

Denver Public Safety Youth Programs

Denver Public Schools

  • Will use funding to support a staff position to provide clinical consultation and professional development for school social workers and psychologists staff on issues related to youth violence prevention. 

Office of Denver District Attorney

  • Will use funding to support a Restorative Justice Coordinator position to establish and organize the Restorative Justice Program’s policies, procedures for the management of cases.

Denver Human Services

  • Will use funding to support the Youth Empowerment Program, which is a new youth mentoring initiative, for ages 14-22.
  • Will use funding for a Youth Mentoring Program and support services such as: emergency food, transportation assistance, clothing, materials for education, and trauma coping support.

Denver Department of Public Health & Environment

  • Will partner with the DenverStrong Mental Health Awareness Training Program to provide trauma-informed mental and behavioral health training for community members and city partners.
  • Will partner with the Wellness Winnie, DDPHE’s mobile unit offering support, assistance, and resources to those in need, where they are.

Community Partners

Denver ReCAST will build off the work of the YVPAT Comprehensive Plan’s call to develop a Community Navigation Plan that coordinates City programming with programming from Community-Based Organizations. There will be over $400,000 available for Community-based Organization programing which will be made available through a Request for Proposal (RFP0 process.

Request for Proposals

The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) will implement a Request for Proposal process (totaling $417,878) after the creation of the community strategic plan to solicit additional community-based programming that relies on the expertise and insight of community stakeholders to:

  1. Provide evidence-based youth violence prevention services
  2. Promote opportunities for at-risk youth community engagement, and
  3. Increase linkages to trauma-informed behavioral health services for at-risk youth and their families

More information will be available at a later date.

Program Evaluation

Program evaluation will be conducted in partnership with the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) at CU Boulder. CSPV researchers will partner with the Denver ReCAST team to collect and report the performance measures required for this project, administer surveys for quality improvement purposes, and build the evaluation capacity of the stakeholders.