Caring for Denver – Youth Grants

Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity.

Program Summary

Caring for Denver aims to fund youth informed/youth-led, trusted, innovative mental health, trauma, and/or substance misuse supports, which increase youth’s ability to manage life stresses and pressures; address mental health and substance misuse early; and/or provide supports for families and allies of youth to better support youth in their healing.

The focus area is youth ages 0-26. Proposals need not address the entire age range.

Projects and activities supported by Caring for Denver’s grantmaking must serve or support only residents of the City and County of Denver.

Caring for Denver will prioritize projects and programs that address Denver’s mental health and substance misuse challenges in at least one of the areas below:

  • Inclusive Access:Help youth, pregnant people, and other family/caregivers access care and support in ways that make sense for them, in places that feel comfortable, and at times that fit their schedules, so they are better able to participate, learn, build skills, and address mental health and substance misuse issues.
  • Attention to Fit: Ensure that when youth, families, and pregnant people seek care, they feel understood, connected, and respected by those providing care—primarily through culturally affirming care options. Also, ensure the mental health needs of those supporting youth, family, and pregnant people are supported so they can be at their best as they help others.  
  • Care Over Time: Improve care transitions, making them easier and more seamless for youth and pregnant people, families, and allies. The goal is to increase stability and minimize the starts and stops in mental health and substance misuse care.

Applicants are encouraged to review summaries of current and past Youth Grants.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST November 27, 2023

Sponsor Application Deadline: December 13, 2023

Internal Application Requirements

  • Project Summary (2 pages maximum):Please detail: 1) how the project addresses the mental health, substance misuse challenges through one or more of the following: a) inclusive access; b) attention to fit; c) care over time; 2) how progress will be measured: a) reduced substance misuse, b) improved or maintained positive mental health, c) increased equity in the mental health and substance misuse outcomes; and 3) how project activities will serve or support only residents of the City and County of Denver.
  • PI CV / Biosketch
  • Budget Overview (up to 1 page): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


Projects and activities supported by Caring for Denver’s grantmaking must serve or support only residents of the City and County of Denver.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Organizations can only submit one application.

Award Information

Current and past Youth Grants may be referenced for award ranges.

Key Considerations

Grant decisions will favor mental health and substance misuse programs/projects that:

  • Are youth-informed/youth-led and/or engage young people as partners in the work
  • Reach youth, family/caregivers, and pregnant people who have been impacted by trauma and inequitable access to services and supports
  • Increase youth and family engagement in mental health services and supports
  • Directly address youth substance misuse and its impacts
  • Provide services and supports after a mental health and/or substance misuse crisis
  • Provide services to and support for those youth with severe and persistent mental illness
  • Expand prevention, treatment (in residential, intensive outpatient, and inpatient settings), and/or recovery services for youth struggling with substance misuse and/or mental health challenges
  • Support young people and caregivers in navigating transitions through various levels of care
  • Foster ways for families, caregivers, and/or youth allies to bolster healthy support systems