Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $681,819)
Community Youth Network (CYN), in collaboration with the 19th Judicial Circuit Court, Division of Juvenile Probation/Detention Services, and Nicasa Behavioral Health, an accredited substance use treatment organization, will provide Therapeutic Mentoring to youth impacted by opioid and other drug misuse. Founded in 2019, CYN’s Therapeutic Mentoring program is the only mentoring program in the county that serves youth in their teens with complex needs. CYN will serve 22 youth who have an existing mentor match and serve 68 youth through new mentor matches during the life of the grant with 98 youth referred during the grant period. Youth 11-17 years of age from Lake County, IL will be matched with a Therapeutic Mentor and provided individual and group mentoring for 1-3 hours per week for 6-12 months and attend substance abuse education through Nicasa’s evidence-based program, Too Good for Drugs. Nicasa will assess youth for substance use treatment needs and match the level of care with the appropriate treatment to ensure positive outcomes. Youth will have opportunities to participate in animal assisted therapy through a contract with Main Stay Therapeutic Farm and team building through a contract with YMCA’s Camp Duncan. Professional Therapeutic Mentors will utilize the Transition to Independence Process evidence based model to assist the youth in meeting their goals. The program improves positive life outcomes (including academic performance, school attendance, high school graduation, prosocial skill development, connection to prosocial peers, connection to family, connection to community, social support access to opportunity structures & resources, drug misuse and attitudes predisposing to criminal activities) through mentoring services.