Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $329,800)
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.
In a dynamic partnership with Massachusetts Department of Children and Families/Brockton Office (DCF) and the Center for Applied Justice Studies (CAJS) of Stonehill College, Old Colony Y (OCY) will collaborate with community partners to provide mentoring services embedded within a life skill/workforce development program for older youth in foster care, ages 12 and over. Based at a Teen Center, OCY will provide a group curriculum with life skill training according to the DCF Preparing Adolescents for Young Adulthood (PAYA) curriculum. The training will be provided in conjunction with an array of educational/workforce activities to promote employment. PAYA will be reinforced through mentoring activities that will enhance the relationship between mentors and mentees while reinforcing life skill development. OCY will work with the CAJS and over 20 providers/informal networks to achieve the program's objectives of supporting academic performance, life skill development, job readiness, and positive decision-making for 70 youth each year. Progress toward goals will be monitored through pre- and post- testing based on the Developmental Asset Model of Search Institute. CA/NCF