Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $425,000)
The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center will develop and administer the Girl-Centered Practice (GCP) Project to address the (1) pervasive disparities and paucity of services in Florida’s First Coast (Duval, Nassau, Clay, St. Johns, and Baker Counties); (2) Persistent overrepresentation of girls of color (particularly Black girls) at every point from arrest to incarceration; (3) problematic practices along key decision points that pull girls into the system; and (4) the lack of appropriate training for juvenile justice and other system stakeholders on First Coast and statewide.
The project goal is to reduce risk factors and promote protective factors for justice involved girls and place them on a path toward success, stability, and long-term contribution to society. Across these counties, there is an estimated target population of 300 girls arrested (but not currently being diverted) and 100 girls on probation that present an opportunity for intervention to reduce offending or deeper system involvement. Girls from rural communities in Nassau, Clay, Baker, and St. Johns counties and high poverty areas in Duval County will receive priority attention to interrupt the cycle of system involvement because of unavailable alternatives or services.
Grounded in girl-centered, culturally responsive principles, research, and evidenced based practices, the GCP Project entails three objectives and associated deliverables. First, available services through the Policy Center’s signature Girl Matters©: Continuity of Care program will be enhanced to better serve 50 girls annually who live in high poverty and rural communities. Specifically, new SAVVY groups will be facilitated in the rural and high poverty zip codes (schools, community centers, etc) to increase access to trauma informed CBT counseling, crisis intervention, care management, and court advocacy. Second, the Policy Center and Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) will partner to develop and implement the first-ever GCP Executive Certificate Program in Northeast Florida. The pilot will include 40 cross system stakeholders representing five counties and a state cohort. The Certificate Program aims to increase knowledge, skills and prepare cohorts to develop evidenced-based girl-centered services and initiatives across respective communities. Third, the Policy Center will provide targeted technical assistance to support the implementation of GCP Capstone Projects to shift practices and expand/enhance services in respective counties and statewide. The Policy Center and CJJR will support the development of 20 leaders dedicated to improving outcomes for system-involved girls, including national replication of the Certificate Program based of lessons learned and successes in Florida.