Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $930,000)
The For Our Children program will address the needs of nine to 15-year-old children living in the District of Columbia who are directly and indirectly exposed to violence in their homes, at or near their schools, and in their communities. Specifically, the program will address the trauma elicited by exposure to violence, offer services to the children and families to reduce the children’s risk and actual exposure to violence, and offer services to lessen the impact of being exposed to violence. Services will be offered to the children and their parents as a way of supporting the parents in creating a safe and secure home environment in which children can thrive. Specific services that will be offered include (1) Children and Parent Services — The Striving Together to Achieve Rewarding Tomorrows (CASASTART) model, Functional Family Therapy, Mental Health Counseling, and Substance Abuse Counseling/Education; (2) Teen Services — Life Skills Training, (3) Parent Services — Parent Education and Support, Workforce Development, trauma-informed and self-care training, strength-based case management, and stabilization support services; and (4) An awareness campaign that will inform parents, service providers, and the general public of the program and increase the public’s awareness of this very important public health concern. The targeted goals for the program are to: (1) Improve the emotional well-being of children; (2) Divert children from gang involvement; (3) Educate parents about the warning signs of gang involvement; (4) Improve family functioning; and (5) Educate and raise community awareness of the public health consequences of our children being exposed to gang violence. To measure progress toward the program goals and objectives, Collaborative Solutions for Communities (CSC) will collect and track qualitative and quantitative data in ClientTrack, a client management database. The data will be analyzed to determine the degree to which the program is implemented with fidelity and to assess the degree to which the program has accomplished the targeted goals and objectives. CSC will conduct monthly and quarterly data analyses and will utilize the data results to inform the execution of the program. Adjustments will be made to how the program is implemented based on the results of the recurring data analyses.