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.
The Child and Family Services of Eastern Virginia, Inc. proposes to create a specialized mentoring program for foster care youth. The project goals are to reduce and prevent juvenile delinquency and improve outcomes for participants by providing mentoring services to 270 foster youth in the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake over 3 years. Specific objectives include improvements for 75% of participating youth in behavior, school performance, psychological and social functioning, and independent living skills.
The cities targeted for this 3-year project, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, are part of the 33rd largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Located in the southeast corner of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the regional population is estimated at 1,658,292. The combined population of the target cities is 981,878. Mentoring specialists will recruit, training, and match volunteers, and monitor and evaluate services. A foster care youth mentoring case manager will identify and evaluate foster care youth, recruit mentors from the youth's social networks and provide case management. Data will be collected, analyzed and used for program improvements using MentorPRO and Casey Life Skills assessments.