Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $930,000)
L.U.K. Crisis Center, Inc. (LUK) proposes a collaborative initiative to expand and enhance prevention and support services for Children Exposed to Violence (CEV). The target population for the Resiliency, Education, and Advocacy for Community Health (REACH) project includes all children and youth from birth through age 17 who reside in Fitchburg and Leominster, Massachusetts, and have been exposed to violence in their home, school, and/or community. REACH will undertake several strategies to address three goals: (1) Improve family and community responses to CEV; (2) Increase protective factors to prevent risky behaviors; and (3) Develop, design, and deliver prevention and intervention strategies to support CEV. Intervention and support services for 60 CEV and their families will be offered by skilled Case Managers using evidence-based practices (EBPs) annually, for a total of 180 CEV families receiving direct services. REACH will also offer evidence-based youth violence prevention to 250 children and youth annually via peer mediation in schools and youth-serving organizations. REACH will also conduct outreach and deliver community education to expand the capacity of 600 families, school personnel, youth-serving professionals, and community members each year through training in strategies and skill-building to support CEV. All project activities will be informed by Positive Youth Development and Trauma-Informed Care principles. The Planning Team will work together to ensure coordinated and comprehensive services are available to support the needs of CEV and their families while preventing violence and building assets among the area’s youth.