Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $280,471)
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).
With these funds, the City of New Orleans proposes to disrupt the current cycle of violence in the city by enhancing trauma-informed approaches in schools. The target population for this grant is African-American New Orleans public school students aged 10 - 18. Evidence shows that exposure to violence and trauma among this group is extremely high. Trauma has a profound and lasting impact on youth outcomes, putting students at risk for violence later in life and placing demands on schools, many of which are ill-equipped to meet the needs of traumatized students. By better addressing childhood exposure to violence and trauma, the City of New Orleans can prevent youth violence and promote youth wellbeing. The City of New Orleans aims to achieve the following goals: (1) Raise schools awareness of the impact of childhood exposure to violence and the importance of effectively addressing childhood trauma for preventing youth violence; (2) Develop school based understanding of trauma-informed approaches and equip schools to meet the needs of traumatized students; and (3) Expand collaboration among schools to promote systems and policy change in addressing trauma and childhood exposure to violence.