Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $500,000)
One of the major challenges that foster care children often face in their personal development is the lack of the involvement of a consistent, caring adult in their lives. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) will assist communities in establishing or expanding mentoring and support services for youth in foster care and foster care youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The legislative authority for this initiative can be found in the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. 111-8.
Bagley Youth Development (BYD) and First Team America (FTA, formerly known as The CHEM LAB) have formed a partnership to offer the 'Enhanced Mentoring Encouraging Responsibility Growth & Empowerment' (EMERGE) project. BYD and FTA are collaborating with other partnering organizations including non-profits, for- profits, and governmental entities, to provide mentoring for at least 150 children and youth (50 each year over a three year period), between the ages of 9 and 17, who live in Fulton County, Georgia. The EMERGE project will annually match foster care children and/or youth with a trained adult mentor of the same sex, who has made a commitment to interact with the project participant for at least one hour each week, for at least a full year. The EMERGE project will involve independent contractors who will provide a comprehensive evaluation that will include baseline, 6 month, and 12-month surveys collected from all project participants assessing changes in their attitudes and behaviors regarding a number of issues including substance abuse, disciplinary issues and academic performance. Other data collection methods will include reviews of the participant files, site visits, interviews and focus groups. CA/NCF