Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $4,500,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 1 (National Mentoring Program) provides funding to support national mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities within local chapters or sub-awardees (in at least 45 states) to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors. FY 2015 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in underserved youth, including youth in high-risk environments. Programs are required to target American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth, and are also highly encouraged to target their mentoring services to children of parents on active military duty; children of incarcerated parents; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth; youth with disabilities; and youth in rural communities. This program is authorized by the FY15(OJJDP Ment. Oppor Yth) Pub. L. No. 113-235; 128 Stat. 2130, 2195.
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (NCASAA), through this funding, will provide mentoring services to new at-risk and high-risk foster youth ages 0-17 with one-on-one mentoring and advocacy programs in no less than 38 states. NCASAA will apply evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for at-risk youth, high-risk youth, and underserved foster youth, including African American, American Indian, and Alaska Native youth, specifically focusing on abused and neglected youth, a population highly at-risk of juvenile delinquency, incarceration, substance abuse, and diminished academic performance. NCASAA will provide grant awards in two categories: 1) two-year sub-awards to establish local CASA programs to increase their capacity to expand one-to-one mentor advocacy to new children; and 2) two-year sub-awards to state CASA organizations to enhance statewide capacity to recruit additional mentor advocates who will serve new children through local programs. Short-term and long-term outcomes for the program include reducing the percentage of at-risk and high-risk foster youth who offend or re-offend and increasing the number of at-risk foster youth who demonstrate improvement on multiple behavioral educational life skills and healthy outcomes.