Many programs that are identified as potential best-practices are stymied because of lack of funding. Yet, there are innovative projects going on throughout the country that have found ways in which they can be financed.

Many programs that are identified as potential best-practices are stymied because of lack of funding. The obstacles that most often stand in the way of funding are related to factors such as eligibility and age. For example, a prime-funding stream would likely be Medicaid. Even though Medicaid can be covered for youth up to age 22 that is not a mandate. As a result, once youth pass the age of eligibility for children and adolescents, they must qualify under adult eligibility criteria which is much more stringent. Other funding streams have similar obstacles.

There are several states that have talked about using both blended and braided funding to help pay for services for youth in transition.

Blended funding is also known as pooled funding. The funded are pooled from multiple sources and make the funding streams indistinguishable. The advantage of this funding is that it creates flexibility in terms of how money can be spent. There is also less paperwork and reporting involved in a blended funding model.

In a braided funding model program, the funding is also pooled between multiple agencies but the funding is much more visible. The funds are tracked both collectively and individually. The accountability for the money is maintained by the funding source and the agency charged with administration. The braided model allows resources to be tracked as well as allowing agencies to maintain control and provides a strong reporting record for quality assurance purposes. Agencies generally provide more funding in a braided model because the agencies have more direct control as to how the money is allocated.

Yet, there are innovative projects going on throughout the country that have found ways in which they can be financed. This section looks at how many of the services and residential programs are being funded.

Among the issues brought together by the work group include:

  • Funding of Blended Models;
  • Funding for Services;
  • Readiness/Skills Training/Employment/Education;
  • Clinical Services;
  • Outcomes/Incentives;
  • Flexible Funding;
  • Care Coordination Funding;
  • PNA Controlled by Youth;
  • Certification Issues;
  • Transportation.

Though there were no existing literature recommendations that were found in some of these areas, there clearly are some innovative funding streams being utilized to pay for programs.