Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $500,000)
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 Center for Working Families, Inc.'s (TCWFI) Parks Pals Mentoring Program aims to keep Parks Middle School students away from crime by including parents/guardians in the current program and connecting them to existing wraparound and family services offered by TCWFI. Short-term outcomes include reducing the percentage of youth involved in juvenile justice system and gangs; increasing the percentage of youth served and mentoring relationships sustained for 12 months; increasing the percentage of students seeing academic achievement and exhibiting prosocial behavior; increasing parent participation in the mentoring program; and increasing the number of mentored families connected to TCWFI adult services. This strategic enhancement will link two well-documented programs and boost existing mentoring relationships with the hope that added parental support can elevate program successes even further and continue to keep neighborhood kids away from crime.