Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
The Affirming Youth Foundation, Inc. is proud to submit its Affirming Youth Family Neighborhood School Partnership (AYFNSP) to the OJJDP FY 2022 Enhancing School Capacity to Address Youth Violence. AYFNSP is a comprehensive school-based, multiagency, multi-sectoral collaboration to address school violence, strengthen and expand partnerships between school systems and community-based organizations. Increase opportunities for family engagement with school personnel in order to jointly address violent risk factors. Increase communication between home and school in order to strengthen the protective factors that contribute to student success. AYFNSP is guided by the National Institute of Justice Comprehensive School Safety Framework of physical safety, school climate, and student behavior. The theory of change is that transforming relationships between teachers and students, extending learning from classrooms to the larger school environment, and ensuring that schools and families communicate consistently—is intended to result in the development of a community of engaged students who are inclined toward pro-social behavior and away from violence and other risk behaviors. By implementing comprehensive, trauma-informed, resilience-oriented, school-based, individual, and family support services guided by a “Service Partnership'' within Liberty City communities, AYFNSP will increase protective factors against juvenile violence, delinquency, and victimization and will mitigate the impact of exposure to school-based violence on children. A multidisciplinary team will implement prevention and early intervention strategies that support children exposed to school-based violence through mechanisms of enhancing family and youth strengths, addressing life challenges, and providing individualized wraparound support through: (1) Screening and Assessment; (2) Care Coordination; (3) Integrated Student Support; and (4) Positive Youth Development Programming. The objectives of the project are to (1) Enhance the capacity of schools to prevent and respond quickly to acts of violence; (2) Strengthen and expand collaborations between school systems and community-based organizations in order to combat school violence; (3) Expand opportunities for family engagement with school personnel in order to jointly address violence risk factors; and (4) Enhance communication between home and school to strengthen protective factors for student achievement. By enhancing family-school-community partnerships in disadvantaged communities, AYFNSP empowers, engages, and strengthens facilitation between schools and other community agencies and organizations to collaborate with families to actively support the development and learning of their children. AYFNSP's comprehensive strategies of evidence-based, coordinated, and complementary prevention and intervention activities will contribute to the Liberty City schools' social cohesion and collective efficacy.