Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $437,500)
The Defending Childhood American Indian/Alaska Native 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 Southern Ute Tribal community continues to be affected by the cyclical nature of substance-violence and resulting trauma. The level of trauma exposure among youth in this community has not yet been measured, but Tribal treatment providers and school personnel have recognized that many youth who display emotional, mental, or behavioral difficulties have experienced some sort of trauma.
The overall intent of this project is to build capacity of tribal systems to become trauma-informed, to better identify youth in the system who have been traumatized, to more effectively serve youth and families by addressing underlying needs that are present once becoming system-involved, and to reduce the prospect of re-traumatization. To accomplish this, this project will: 1) support a committee of treatment and youth-serving providers to enhance collaboration and avoid duplication of services; 2) create a collective practice to better identify youth who have experienced trauma; 3) collectively train treatment and youth-serving providers in trauma-based interventions; and 4) support delivery of trauma-informed services with cultural values and practices incorporated, as identified by youth and families themselves.