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Project CONNECT - Community Networks Negotiating Evaluations and Counseling for Trauma

Award Information

Award #
2010-JW-FX-K010
Location
Awardee County
Queens
Congressional District
Status
Closed
Funding First Awarded
2010
Total funding (to date)
$749,640

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $250,000)

The Safe Start Promising Approaches Project will develop and support practice enhancements and innovations to prevent and reduce the impact of children's exposure to violence in their homes and communities. The project will help communities implement collaborative and evidence-based practices across the services continuum for children and their families. Exposure to violence includes being a victim of violence or a witness to violence, and encompasses abuse, neglect or child maltreatment, domestic violence, and community violence. This program is authorized by Sections 261 and 262 of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended (42 USC 5665-5666).

Project CONNECT aims to strategically enhance Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) for Latino and African/Caribbean child and adolescent victims of various forms of violence. The program will be implemented and evaluated with 100 youth, ages 5-17, and their caregivers. Assessments and AF-CBT will be provided in a safe, engaging, community-based site. The efficacy of adapted AF-CBT will be evaluated through a national collaboration on a randomized trial. CA/NCF

The Safe Start Promising Approaches Project will develop and support practice enhancements and innovations to prevent and reduce the impact of children's exposure to violence in their homes and communities. The project will help communities implement collaborative and evidence-based practices across the services continuum for children and their families. Exposure to violence includes being a victim of violence or a witness to violence, and encompasses abuse, neglect or child maltreatment, domestic violence, and community violence.
This program is authorized by Sections 261 and 262 of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended (42 USC 5665-5666).The 10 pilot sites will test various evidence-based enhancements and practice innovations such as AF-CBT, TF-CBT, Strengthening Families Program, Coping Resources and other interventions in community-based settings such as DV shelters, libraries, Head Start, community mental health clinics and afterschool clubs. NCA/NCF

OJJDP has a specific mission to develop and disseminate knowledge about what works to prevent juvenile delinquency and violence and improve the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, 42 U.S.C. § 5601 et seq authorizes the Administrator of OJJDP to conduct research or evaluations and undertake statistical analyses on a wide range of juvenile justice matters. OJJDP also provides funding to states and localities to carry out research, evaluation, and statistical analyses.

Project CONNECT (Community Networks Negotiating Evaluations and Counseling for Trauma) aims to bring state-of-the-art, culturally and linguistically specific intervention services in non-stigmatizing settings to interpersonal violence victims from vulnerable communities of Queens, NY. To achieve this goal, Project CONNECT, with the assistance of community stakeholders and national experts, is strategically enhancing Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Latino, African-American, and Afro-Caribbean children exposed to violence. AF-CBT is a child-parent treatment designed to address the mental health consequences of children exposed to violence and conflict. In addition to cultural adaptations, Project CONNECT seeks to enhance AF-CBT for use with children and adolescents who witness domestic violence and are survivors of dating violence. Project CONNECT will implement and evaluate adapted AF-CBT with youth ages 5-17, and their caregivers. And to counter barriers to treatment such as stigma and transportation difficulties, assessments and therapy will be provided in safe, engaging, community-based sites within the Queens Library system. Project CONNECT will examine whether these adaptations improve recruitment, retention, satisfaction, and short- and long-term outcomes.

The project will adapt treatment content and service delivery of AF-CBT to improve recruitment, retention, satisfaction, and outcomes for Latino and African/Caribbean American children and adolescents exposed to multiple forms of violence. To overcome concrete and conceptual barriers, the intervention will be implemented within the Queens library system. Clinicians will be sent to two libraries in the most populous centers in Queens, the Central Library and Langston Hughes branches, which are home to a large percentage of Latino and African-American families. This approach reduces cost and stigma associated with traditional mental health services.

Additionally, adaptations to cognitive restructuring exercises will gear families to modify trauma-specific cognitive distortions regarding trust, safety, power, and other topics related to victimization. Problem solving, anger management, and social skill exercises will be adapted to include violence-specific examples. Project CONNECT will also adapt AF-CBT for use with adolescents (currently the intervention is geared toward early and middle childhood) and for cultural relevance to African/Caribbean and Latino youth and families. Proposed modifications are research-informed. Adolescent adaptations to address distrust of authority, motivation to change, affect dysregulation, impulse control and developmentally-appropriate parenting strategies. Cultural adaptations follow recommendations of experts on cultural awareness in mental health settings, including: direct discussion of cultural values about the purpose and process of therapy, inviting the entire family to a session, engagement with the elder male , and allowing for less stringent boundaries and more disclosure by the therapist; for Latino children. Some similar adaptations will be made for African/Caribbean children.

CA/NCF

Date Created: September 12, 2010