Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $500,000)
The primary goals of the OJJDP youth violence portfolio are to promote the wellbeing of children, youth, and families; reduce violence; and improve community capacity to address all forms of violence. This program supports the enhancement of OJJDPs youth violence prevention initiatives by inviting OJJDP localities presently implementing the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (Forum), Community-Based Violence Prevention (CBVP), and/or the Defending Childhood initiatives to apply for funding to adopt practices and implement models from a different program to achieve their shared violence prevention objectives. This program serves to encourage current initiative sites to enhance, integrate, and align youth violence prevention strategies; coordinate existing resources; engage in community education and outreach; develop and maintain strong collaborations; increase the involvement of youth and families in decision making; and engage the faith community, media, law enforcement, advocates, victim services, business, and other key partners in collective action. These efforts are authorized under Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235).
Portland Public Health and Maine Behavioral Healthcare are proposing to enhance Portland Defending Childhood, a community-based, collaborative initiative aimed at preventing childhood exposure to violence and addressing the needs of children and youth with a focus on domestic violence. The proposed project would build Portland's capacity to specifically address youth violence through comprehensive planning, multi-disciplinary partnerships, evidence based strategies and programming and early intervention. The proposed project adopts the following goals of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention: (1) elevate youth and gang violence as an issue of significant; (2) enhance Portland's capacity to more effectively prevent youth and gang violence and (3) expand engagement, collaboration and coordination to promote systems and policy change.