Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $230,784)
The New Jersey Parents' Caucus (NJPC) and Mr. G's Kids will improve the quality of life for Paterson, New Jersey families raising children and youth at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system by increasing access to comprehensive, coordinated, timely and culturally-competent services and individualized care, through a series of family strengthening strategies. The Families Uplifted Strengthening Initiative will target approximately 1,000 ' 1,500 families raising at-risk children and youth between the ages of 7 and 15, in the city of Paterson. In addition to NJPC's endeavors in the city of Paterson, Mr. G's Kids, a local community-based organization providing services to the children and youth of Paterson, will provide supportive services for low-income youth in the community by working to broaden children's horizons academically, emotionally and creatively. Their programs include Character Building Workshops which is a series of workshops used to strengthen character through exposure to fine arts and career building initiatives, and Hands Of Empowerment, a mentoring program for Paterson inner city girls between the ages of 8-15.
The primary purpose and long-term goal of this project is to improve the quality of life for Paterson, New Jersey children who are at risk of becoming involved in juvenile justice, and their families by increasing access to comprehensive, coordinated, timely and culturally-competent services. Parents that: (1) receive information and referral services will be better able to locate and identify services for their children; (2) attend parent support meetings will have an informal peer support system with other parents; (3) have a dedicated family advocate will be better able to make informed decisions about the services their family receives; (4) attend training will be better prepared to partner with service providers and advocate for their children and families; and (5) become certified to train will be empowered to provide informal support and training to other parents in their local communities. Ultimately, at-risk children whose families receive family strengthening services will: (1) abide the law: (2) be better able to succeed in school: (3) remain in their communities; (4) remain together and be strengthened; and (5) thrive. CA/NCF