Children's Behavioral Health Grants

Since the Fall 2022, we’ve paused our grants cycle to reevaluate, assess, and decide specific local youth mental wellness needs.

Pausing our grants cycle

In the Fall of 2022 we announced a pause for our grants cycle to reevaluate, assess, and decide specific local youth mental wellness needs. Youth and families are experiencing unprecedented wait lists for mental health care and crisis levels of mental health needs for kids, teens, and young people. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened an already tenuous youth mental health care system.

While our regular grants cycle is paused, we will still consider funding requests for high need areas, such as maternal mental health, school-based mental health services, and supporting teens and young adults as they transition from pediatric to adult mental health services.

We are especially interested in supporting efforts that bring mental health care to specific populations of youth and families who are underserved, such as LGBTQ+ youth, youth in the juvenile justice system, and youth in the foster care system.

We plan to issue a Request for Applications (RFA) process that responds to the mental health needs of youth, young people, and families in our community. We look for deliberate and intentional partnerships, encouraging community partners to propose ideas and solutions. The intent of this pause is to listen and learn from youth, and to take the time to turn that listening into action with the creation of an RFA process for future funding.

Youth Listening Tour

While we paused our grants cycle in the Fall of 2022, we are conducted a Youth Listening Tour with local community partners to begin updating our 2015 Youth and Children’s Behavioral Health Needs Assessment. We wanted to hear directly from youth, parents/caregivers, and families about mental and behavioral health needs, plus solutions and opportunities for future funding, and advocacy and policy changes.

To re-analyze the mental health landscape in Lancaster County we approached this issue by: conducting a listening tour targeted towards youth aged 12-19 who live in the County; and an online survey targeted towards parents of County students. 

It’s important to recognize that the experiences and perspectives captured in this report are not exhaustive, and additional considerations may emerge as the listening tours and survey continue. 

Data Collection

Youth & Young Adults

The focus groups for youth and young adults were aimed to frame a conversation around what resources and services are needed in the community. A secondary purpose of these focus groups was to raise awareness about mental health and help young people to begin thinking of these issues, decreasing the stigma towards mental health in the next generation. These groups also helped to connect youth with other peers interested in mental health activism.


The anonymous online survey for parents focused on understanding the broader demographics of families in the area. The 15 minute survey was distributed by email and various social media channels.

The purpose of the questions was to engage with parents on behavioral health in Lancaster County and assess the gaps in the care that they are receiving or lack thereof. The questions are aimed to collect data around what resources and services are needed in the community.

Applications Closed

Interested in applying next year? We recommend downloading and reviewing our application guide.

What We Fund

We fund programs that elevate the mental well-being of youth and children in Lancaster County. We value caring, collaboration, a whole-person approach, advocacy, and visibility. We’re interested in supporting targeted workforce development for providers, and improving access to behavioral healthcare for youth and children (age birth to 26 years) in Lancaster County.

Tax-exempt community benefit organizations serving Lancaster County are eligible to apply. We award a total of $100,000 each year.

Outcomes & Impact

Funded activities must focus on one or more of the following outcomes and impacts. We recommend that applicants view and download our application guide before applying.

Our grants provide delivery of children’s behavioral healthcare services, increased access to behavioral healthcare for youth and children, a seamless transition of behavioral healthcare services for youth into young adulthood (ages 14-26), and guidance for helps families navigate mental/behavioral health care and resources for their children. 

Application Process

Applications open twice a year (each spring and fall), and must be submitted online. Spring applications must be submitted by March 1. Fall applications must be submitted by October 1. 

The suggested range of grant request is $5,000-$25,000. Letters of support from community partners along with a list of any collaborative partners will be requested.

To learn more, please schedule a meeting with our Executive Director, Anna Kennedy. We encourage all applicants to discuss your project with us before submitting your application. There is no letter of intent required.

Agreement and Reporting

Organizations awarded grants are required to sign a grant agreement before funds can be distributed. A 6-month interim report, and 1-year final report will be required. Touchstone Foundation staff and volunteers will visit each grantee for a site visit at least once during the 1- year grant period.