Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $526,000)
The Prevention Empowerment Partnership (PEP), of Marshall University Research Corporation, is a collaborative committee of community-based organizations and community leaders that partner to increase access to prevention services for youth and families in Cabell County and throughout the state of WV where appropriate. Funding from this grant will help create the Shield project. Shield is a concept of community ownership and safety that will protect youth and their families and will empower them to address the effects of substance use disorder and partner with their communities to affect positive change.
WV is 'ground zero' of a national crisis, and the sites included in this proposal are areas hardest hit that also meet the priority areas identified for this grant. Cabell County and surrounding areas have faced an unprecedented opioid epidemic for the last decade. The cascade of problems emanating from this has disproportionately affected children and their families at-risk for behavioral health problems increasing the need for selective and indicated prevention services, early intervention, outreach, and treatment. This project will develop and implement a comprehensive, data-driven coordinated plan to address challenges resulting from the opioid crisis that impact youth, their families, and community safety.
The Shield project will reduce traumatic stress for youth impacted by opioid use disorder in the identified area. PEP will accomplish this by integrating evidence-based prevention, intervention, diversion, problem identification, and treatment services for children and their families with already existing education, justice, and treatment service systems, and by increasing the capacity of community organizations to better identify and serve youth and families suffering from traumatic stress due to the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic. Assessment of needs, data collection, plan development, quarterly and annual reporting will be built into this program and will be developed and based on the required performance measures as required by OJJDP's online Performance Measurement Tool, as well as analysis of the Pride Risk Behavior Survey.