Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $250,302)
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).
For the FY15 Youth Violence Prevention Enhancement (YVPE) Project, the Mayor's Office of Camden, NJ will partner with the Center For Family Services. The purpose of the YVPE Project is to add the Defending Childhood component to the portfolio of violence prevention programming currently underway in Camden, which already includes the National Forum and Community-Based Violence Prevention (CBVP) initiatives. The goals of the YVPE Project are to: 1) Develop and implement activities for families and communities that prevent children's initial and repeated exposure to violence; 2) Advance knowledge about the causes and characteristics of childhood exposure to violence and to support education and outreach efforts to improve understanding about this exposure and the manifestations of trauma associated with it; and 3) Improve systems and services that identify and assist children, youth, and families who have been impacted by violence to reduce trauma, build resilience, and promote healing. Primary activities include: 1) enhancement of the existing community assessment, 2) addition of Defending Childhood components to the violence prevention strategic plan (to protect children in Camden from exposure to violence), 3) implementation of the Phoenix Curriculum in schools, 4) training for adults at schools and community centers using Dr. Macy's Post-Traumatic Stress Management Training Series, 5) application of the Salinas Model for community mobilization, 6) building out infrastructure to integrate Defending Childhood into the city's portfolio of violence prevention programming, and 7) absorb Defending Childhood youth violence prevention efforts into the social norms marketing campaign underway.