Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $399,177)
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 Reach For The Stars (RFTS) Mentoring Program will expand to implement a Parental Enhancement strategy addressing the critical needs of one hundred (100) severely at-risk youth between 6 to 11 years old in Shreveport, Louisiana. RFTS Parental Enhancement program goals are to reduce the likelihood of juvenile criminal behavior and incarceration; increase the number of at-risk youths who attain positive life outcomes including high achievement rates in school, abstinence from substance use, heightened self-esteem, and strengthened emotional bonds; and increase the number of at-risk youths whose parents provide sustainable healthy home environments in which youths' positive behavior and educational achievement are nurtured. To achieve these goals, 80 parents and caregivers of 100 program mentees, will be enrolled in the Enhancement program. Every participant will experience a program that is designed to execute objectives through the integrated evidence-based components of Parenting and Life Skills Enhancement (workshops and a parental support group), Quality of Life Development (family case management with supportive services), and Family Participation Activities (at-home based and group based activities). Progress toward the program's goals will be evaluated quarterly using performance measures that are directly linked to objectives and goals and accurately document outcomes for mentees and their parents.