Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $333,046)
While research indicates that quality mentoring is a promising delinquency prevention technique, certain program characteristics and elements are moderators of its effectiveness. This solicitation invites eligible applicants to propose evidence-based enhancements that are among these moderators of program effectiveness. The three strategies include: (1) involving the parents in activities or services, (2) providing structured activities and programs for the mentoring matches, and (3) developing and implementing on-going training and support for mentors. This initiative is authorized by the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2010, P.L. 111-117.
The purpose of this project is to implement a plan for enhanced training and support available to mentors in a pre-existing community-based mentoring program. The project will target approximately 400 mentors annually who are matched to youth at high risk for juvenile delinquency, gang involvement, substance abuse, and other negative behaviors associated with risk factors such as abuse and neglect, family/parental violence and/or disorganization, poor parental supervision, high crime neighborhoods, absence of positive role models and pro-social peers, academic failure, limited attachment to neighborhood and community, and need for recognition and belonging. The training program is expected to increase the number of mentors who obtain knowledge and skills that enable them to understand and be prepared to effectively deal with the complex problems that their mentees are challenged with. Expected outcomes include an increase in retention and length of mentoring relationships, resulting in an increased number of mentees who exhibit improvement in antisocial behavior, peer and adult relationships, gangs, juvenile delinquency and substance abuse involvement, academic achievement, and optimism and hope for a future. Progress toward reaching goals and objectives will be measured through the use of evaluation instruments designed in partnership with experts in the mentoring field.