Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $650,000)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore, Inc. (BBBSES) proposes to implement the Youth Mentoring Program to benefit children aged 6-18 impacted by opioids, their families, mentors, and communities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
The purpose of this project is to improve outcomes for 500 youth impacted by opioids and other drug misuse. Through this program, evaluations and surveys will be used to show youths’ improvements in self-confidence, ability to express feelings, ability to make decisions, ability to use community resources, academic performance, attitude toward school, ability to avoid early pregnancy and drug use, and relationships with adults, parents, and peers.
The agency will achieve expected improvements through one-to-one and group mentoring facilitated by the agency. An additional tool, the Youth Outcome Development Plan, will guide children to improve outcomes and achieve milestones. The organization has a formal MOU with Atlantic Recovery to receive youth referrals and create referrals when necessary. The organization will receive referrals from additional treatment centers including Recovery Centers of America, Whitsitt Center, Corsica River Mental Health, Chesapeake Treatment Services, UM Shore Behavioral Health, Warwick Manor Behavioral Health, Avenues Recovery Center at Eastern Shore, Chesapeake Treatment Services, Next Chapter Behavioral Health, Hudson Behavioral Health, and Open Arms & Hearts Health Services.
BBBSES has historically partnered with the Wicomico County Health Department to provide seminars and educational components. Through this program, the organization will partner local health departments to provide seminars on opioid and drug use and provide additional training through the Big Brothers Big Sisters learning exchange.
Project activities and funding from this grant will support the enrollment of children impacted by opioids and other drugs, enrollment of volunteer mentors, child safety screenings, background checks, mentor and parent training, match meetings, case management, agency provided match activities, group mentoring, resources provided, and referrals. Expected outcomes for one-to-one mentoring includes 100 new matches each year of the grant period and support for matches made in each previous year. Year 1 will serve 100 new matches, year 2 will serve 100 new matches and 100 matches from the previous year, and year 3 will serve 100 new matches and 200 matches from the previous two years. Expected outcomes for group mentoring includes 200 additional children affected by opioids and other drugs served throughout the grant period.