Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $525,000)
The VOICES program, an evidence- based wraparound model will address needs in a holistic, trauma-informed, culturally appropriate, and gender- responsive manner. This program will target justice-involved girls (JIGs), aged 17 and younger, at risk of being involved in the system or those who are already involved in the juvenile justice system in Harris County, Houston, Texas. The goal of the VOICES program is to reduce risks and increase protective factors of young girls. Change Happens’ wrap-around model with a collaborative system of care is grouped into 8 components- 1) Gender- specific group sessions for the girls through an evidence- based curriculum, Voices Lite (Covington, 2017) developed for girls at risk of justice involvement, 2) Wraparound Case Management, 3) College and career preparedness workshops, 4) Family engagement, 5) Pro-social activities, 6) Mentorship matching, 7) multiple trainings for correctional officers, and 8) Systems level intervention through the Community Engagement Advisory Board aimed at reducing disproportionate minority contact. This program uses a collaborative model of change that is strongly built on partnerships and networks, the main strategy to drive systemic change in the management of JIGs.