Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $1,261,040)
The Defending Childhood American Indian/Alaska Native Policy Initiative (Policy Initiative) is designed to increase the capacity of tribes to enhance their juvenile justice and related child serving systems, such as child welfare and education, and to improve the lives of tribal youth exposed to violence. This program is authorized pursuant to paragraph (3)(A) under the Juvenile Justice heading and paragraph (11) under the State and Local Law Enforcement heading in the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2016 Pub. L. No. 114-113, 129 Stat. 2242, 2307, 2309.
The University of Montanas National Native Childrens Trauma Center, the American Institutes for Research, and the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice will collaborate on a training and technical assistance (TTA) effort to support the development and implementation of innovative, culturally appropriate, and sustainable trauma-informed response models across all child-serving systems in tribes participating as Category 1 Policy Initiative demonstration sites. AI/AN expert consultants will support the core TTA team, providing expertise on such topics as youth voice and family engagement, tribal courts and juvenile systems, tribal child welfare and crossover youth, the incorporation of cultural practices, and co-occurring trauma and substance use disorders.
The projects five goals are to 1) establish collaborative relationships with individual grantees and create a cross-site Community of Practice; 2) determine individual grantee and cross-site TTA needs; 3) develop and implement individual and cross-site TTA plans to support trauma-informed, culturally appropriate tribal juvenile justice reform; 4) create materials to support sites in their implementation of trauma-informed and culturally appropriate services, provide a foundation for train-the-trainer capabilities, and promote sustainability; and 5) analyze program data to drive program improvements and sustainability and to identify and articulate lessons learned.