Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,000,000)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) proposes to implement Mentoring for Youth Impacted by Opioid and Other Substance Misuse Phase VI. The purpose is to serve 700 youth 17 years old and younger who have been impacted by opioids and other substance misuse with a tailored community-based mentoring program.
Project activities include matching 700 youth who are at risk and/or impacted by opioids with high-quality mentoring relationships; providing at least three substance and opioid misuse prevention educational opportunities to MYIO6 mentees; and conducting at least six staff, mentor, parent, and caregiver educational opportunities on drug prevention education. Opportunities will also be provided for youth and families to engage as partners in program development through listening sessions and round table discussions.
The intended beneficiaries include1) youth living in a community with high rates of opioid use and overdose; 2) youth who have a parent or family member who is currently or has used opioids; 3) youth placed in foster care due to opioid use by a primary caregiver; or 4) youth at-risk for opioid use due to individual, family and community risk factors. Expected improved outcomes include improved academic performance and reduced school dropout rates) for youth impacted by opioids and other substance misuse through mentoring.
BBBSA will administer subawards to approximately 30 affiliate agencies in at least 20 states based upon a competitive application process. Selection will be determined based on strong past grant performance, high program quality and capacity, and satisfactory financial controls and internal processes. Once selected, BBBS agencies will perform screening that exceeds the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring (EEMP) benchmark standards to protect mentees while developing the most impactful mentoring match. BBBSA will collect data from affiliate organizations through interviews, application forms, surveys, and observation. This information will include demographic data, references, background checks, diagnosis or trauma identified, family information, and system involvement. BBBSA will also administer an assortment of standardized surveys to mentors and mentees to capture critical outcome data including the strength and efficacy of the mentoring match, school and parental connectedness, academic performance, social competence, and reductions in risky behaviors.
Subrecipient activities include training to increase awareness among stakeholders and promote protective factors for youth. In partnership with Acadia Healthcare, a licensed and accredited behavioral health treatment provider, youth and families will also be provided resources and options to pursue treatment for substance use disorders and other behavioral health concerns.