Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $225,138)
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).
As a Forum city, the City of San Jose Mayors Gang Prevention Task Force (MGPTF) will utilize this funding to enhance the citys MGPTF and Partners current implementation of the Forum strategy by adopting practices and implementing models from the Defending Childhood Initiative, with a particular focus on Trauma Informed Strategy and Trauma-Specific Evidence-Based Services. The proposed funding and work plan will allow enhancement of the existing continuum of prevention and intervention services addressing East San Jose and the Central Corridor where the highest concentrations of high risk, gang-impacted and gang-involved youth are found. The MGPTF serves 3,800 targeted youth annually.
The project has three goals: (1) To launch a MGPTF and Partners Initiative to plan a trauma-informed and related substance abuse detection, early intervention and treatment services continuum to assist youth and families who have been impacted by violence to reduce trauma, build resilience, and promote healing; (2) To enhance the service capacity of participating MGPTF partners to more effectively prevent youth and gang violence by better addressing the needs of children/youth at-risk or involved with gangs and the juvenile justice systems with trauma histories, experiences, and related trauma induced behaviors; and (3) To coordinate with and leverage Santa Clara Countys Department of Alcohol & Drug Services Department existing and planned substance abuse education outreach, prevention and treatment services. The project includes two deliverables: a Community-wide Assessment and Community Engagement process and development of a Strategic Plan for the system enhancements. Outcomes will include greater awareness in the community and by service providers of the link between traumatic violent personal histories and later substance abuse, and criminal behaviors; service providers trained in early detection and intervention strategies of clients with histories of personal trauma; and integration of these strategies into the service delivery systems.