Developmental Disabilities Workforce Capacity Development Near-Term Initiative

DD Workforce Capacity Grant Submissions

Governor Greg Gianforte signed  House Bill 872  into law on May 22, 2023, providing a generational investment to reform and improve Montana’s behavioral health and developmental disabilities (DD) service systems. A central component of the governor’s Budget for Montana Families, the $300 million investment will expand intensive and community-based behavioral health care and developmental disabilities services across Montana.

On January 11th, 2024, the Behavioral Health Systems for Future Generations (BHSFG) Commission passed the DD Workforce Capacity Development Near-Term Initiative (NTI). The NTI was subsequently approved by Gov. Gianforte on January 30th.

The Workforce Capacity Development NTI will provide up to $350,000 to pilot a Direct Support Professionals (DSP) credentialing structure to test best practice approaches to stabilizing the DSP workforce by establishing career ladders. The DSP Workforce Capacity Grants aim to provide one-time grants to five DD service providers (with a goal of one per DDP region) for, on average, 25 DSPs to become credentialed through the National Alliance for DSP platform eBadge Academy, a web-based credentialing platform.

Funds will cover staff time for DSPs participating in the credentialing program as well as “backfilled” staff to cover the shift time of staff enrolled in the credentialing program; payroll processing, grant reporting and tracking and other administrative costs incurred by selected provider agencies; technical support provided by NADSP to support providers in implementation; and one-time incentive bonuses to DSPs once they reach credentialing tiers.

To be eligible for this grant, programs must ensure the following:

  • Actively enrolled as a type 82 provider with Medicaid;
  • Actively listed on at least one prior authorization for a 0208 waiver service;
  • Be in good standing with DDP and the Office of Inspector General, including no unresolved Quality Assurance Observation Sheets;
  • Must be able to attest that the organization has the administrative support infrastructure to meet the grant criteria and that selected DSPs will be provided the time needed to complete credentialing activities;

DPHHS will be accepting grant applications beginning April 19, 2024. All proposals must be submitted via Submittable .

Additionally, $200,000 of funding is allocated through this NTI to enhance training opportunities for healthcare professionals to support individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) seeking medical and behavioral healthcare by sponsoring 500 “seats” in the Curriculum in IDD Healthcare eLearn course. This course teaches the fundamentals of IDD healthcare, providing participants with pertinent, practical information regarding people with disabilities that can improve outcomes, reduce suffering, and prevent unnecessary death. The goal of this training is to help promote better healthcare outcomes, including acute care services for individuals with IDD. The completed course earns the participant 5 CME/6 CEU credits.

To be eligible to participate in this training, participants must:

  • Be licensed in the state of Montana as a healthcare professional or behavioral health professional; or
  • Be a Montana college or university student enrolled in a healthcare field.

DDP will prioritize access to this training to licensed healthcare and behavioral health professionals. Access to college or university students will be limited to 100 seats.

For more information about the course and registration materials please see the I/DD in Healthcare Registration page.

Both workforce stabilization and increased capacity within the broader healthcare delivery system to support people with IDD are critical to the long-term sustainability and quality of care for Montanans with IDD.


Need More Information?

Please contact Ryan Bonser, Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Division at (406) 444-5978 or email