Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $2,492,322)
This program furthers the Department's mission by developing and testing new mentoring practices to better serve children of incarcerated parents.
The Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership (MCOIPP), under Category 1 of the OJJDP FY 2014 Practitioner-Researcher Partnership Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents Demonstration Program, will inform and enhance the measurable performance of 20 mentoring programs through the development and implementation of research-informed practice enhancements focused on the unique needs, risk factors, and strengths of the target population of children of incarcerated parents age 17 and younger, and sub-populations within this target group. The enhanced practices will be implemented in 20 sites in the following states: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MI, OH, PA, SD, TX, and VA.
These 20 sites will use the same community-based one-to-one mentoring model, demonstrated to be effective in impacting positive outcomes for youth. Each of the sites will implement enhancements in 8 program areas: mentor recruitment, youth recruitment, screening and intake assessment, matching, training (pre & post match), structures and supports for mentoring activities, monitoring support, family engagement, and external partnerships. Each site will establish 36 matches per year, for a total of 72 matches per site, and sustain them for at least 12 months. Half of the total matches (720) will receive enhanced services through random assignment, while the other half will continue to receive services within the BBBS model, for a total of 1440 mentees. The applicant will manualize the enhancements for translation to the field. The applicant anticipates that these enhanced support practices will lead to more effective direct program practices, including better mentor and mentee training, more family engagement, stronger match support, and better matching practices for children of incarcerated parents.
The Mid-Atlantic Network of Youth & Family Services, Inc. (MANY) is primarily responsible for developing the enhanced practices and ensuring their consistent implementation. MANY is partnering with the Center for Evidence Based Mentoring at the University of Massachusetts, directed by Dr. Jean Rhodes, and their sub-contractor Innovation, Research and Training to conduct a rigorous, random assignments study of this enhanced mentoring model. As a result of this work, MANY will disseminate a range of tools to the field, including TA toolkits, recruitment templates, interest assessments, and tip sheets.