Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $5,000,000)
This program supports national mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities within local affiliates. Mentoring activities include direct one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring, or peer mentoring services to at-risk and underserved youth populations. This program is authorized by the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-55, 125 Stat. 552, 617.
The proposed National Mentoring Program will enable the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association (NCASA) to strengthen the vital national network of CASA volunteers who address the needs of America's foster youth by providing one-to-one mentoring and advocacy. The program will support local and state CASA programs in at least 38 of the 49 states with active CASA programs by accomplishing the following goals: expand and enhance the capacity of at least 45 established local CASA programs; increase the capacity of at least 17 state CASA programs; and scale enhanced mentor training by providing NCASA's Fostering Futures Program to 1,250 volunteers in at least 15 states. Ninety percent of grant funds will be subawarded through a competitive grant process. The program's ultimate beneficiaries will be foster youth in communities demonstrating significant need, and OJJDP funds will enable CASA programs to recruit, screen, and train an additional 3,282 volunteers and serve an additional 8,157 foster youth. Among multiple short-term and immediate outcomes, NCASA expects the program will reduce the percentage of foster youth who offend or reoffend and increase the number of youth who demonstrate improvement on multiple behavioral, educational, life skills, and health outcomes.