Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $2,000,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 2 (Multi-State Mentoring Program) provides funding to support mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities within local chapters or sub-awardees (in at least 5 states but fewer than 45 states) to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors. FY 2016 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 encouraged to target their mentoring services to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth; 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.
Mid-Atlantic Network of Youth & Family Services, Inc. (MANY) has 76 Mentoring+ (M+) chapters in 43 states and will utilize FY 2016 funds in order to award 14 competitively selected M+ chapters to strengthen mentoring activities and expand community-based, one-to-one mentoring activities to an additional 2,520 youth in 14 states (AR, AZ, CA, FL, MI, MN, MO, NE, NY, PA, TX, VA, VT, and WV). The goal of the M+ model is to improve positive outcomes for youth at-risk or high risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system through quality mentoring services that increase youths resiliency to individual, social, and environmental risk factors that can lead to juvenile delinquency. MANYs program objectives are to: 1) Expand direct one-on-one community-based mentoring services to a target population of 2,520 at-risk and high-risk youth ages 6-17 in 14 states )including Children of Incarcerated Parents (COIP), Runaway and Homeless Youth, and Justice-involved Youth); and 2) Strengthen protective factors supporting resiliency by enhancing mentoring services with research-based strategies for 2,520 youth. The Mentoring+ model is based on a Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach, and requires a set of rigorous standards for mentor recruitment, screening/assessment, training, matching & initiating, monitoring & support, and closure that align with or exceed the standards described in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring (EEPM) 4th Edition. In order to ensure continuous quality improvements in MANYs program, the 14 M+ chapters will collect mentoring data that is responsive to the OJJDP performance measures and program objectives using the following tools: MANYs (customized) Information Management System; Mentor training evaluations; results from the Strength of Relationship Survey (completed by youth and mentors); the PYD Scale to assess youths positive attributes; and Parent/Caregiver Perspective surveys that measure the parent/caregivers perceptions of the mentoring match. Long-term outcomes include: 90% of youth do not offend or re-offend while participating; 75% of youth exhibit desired change in behavior (increase in resiliency/protective factors); 60% of matches last longer than 12 months; and 50% of families access a new community resource.