Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,217,476)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America's (BBBSA) Mentoring for Youth Affected by the Opioid Crisis and Drug Addiction Phase IV (MYIO4) will serve an additional 700 youth across the United States who have been impacted by opioids and other substance abuse with a tailored community-based mentoring program. BBBSA will provide support to youth who are impacted by personal or family-member opioid abuse to reduce the likelihood that youth will engage in substance abuse and juvenile delinquency. BBBSA will provide subgrants to local BBBS agencies that serve youth who have been the hardest hit by the opioid crisis. Through these subgrants, BBBSA will: 1) engage opioid affected youth in caring mentoring relationships; 2) increase youth, mentor, and parent/caregiver education about opioid abuse; and 3) provide targeted support and guidance to youth dealing with opioid abuse in their lives. Under this program BBBSA will serve 1) youth who are or have abused opioids; 2) youth at high risk for abusing opioids; 3) and youth with family members who are currently abusing or have abused opioids. Youth will engage in 18 months of evidence-based direct mentoring specifically designed to have the highest efficacy for their unique circumstances. BBBSA will administer subawards to approximately 30 affiliate agencies in at least 20 states based upon the results of a competitive application process. Selection will be determined based on strong past grant performance, high program quality and capacity, and satisfactory financial controls and internal processes. Once selected, BBBS agencies will perform exhaustive screening that exceeds the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring (EEMP) benchmark standards to protect mentees while developing the most impactful mentoring match. BBBSA will collect data from affiliate organizations through interviews, application forms, surveys, and observation. This information will include demographic data, references, background checks, diagnosis or trauma identified, family information, and system involvement. Semi-annual reports will be developed that include number of active matches, match length, contact with matches, retention rates, and youth outcomes. BBBSA will also administer an assortment of standardized surveys to mentors and mentees to capture critical outcome data including the strength and efficacy of the mentoring match, school and parental connectedness, academic performance, social competence, and reductions in risky behaviors. No portion of the funding will be utilized for “research”.