Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $1,250,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 5 (Statewide and Regional Mentoring Initiative for Youth Impacted by Opioids)supports a broad-based approach to building mentoring program capacity in targeted regions throughout the country to help youth impacted by opioids. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 115-141, 132 Stat. 348, 423.
The Iowa Mentoring Project is focused on mentoring program enhancements that provide group activities for matches, engage youth in their community, and actively involve parents in the mentoring match and group outings. The program will complement and strengthen mentoring programs by focusing on risk and protective factors for youth and families by providing opportunities to develop prosocial skills in mentees and families through increased involvement. This project targets rural communities in Iowa affected by the opioid epidemic and youth demonstrating risk factors for substance abuse. Youth will be served by community-based mentoring programs certified by the Iowa Mentoring Partnership and using best practices as defined in Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. Progress toward goals and objectives will be tracked and monitored monthly, quarterly, and annually for continuous improvement. Outputs include increasing family contacts with the program, increasing youth and family group activities, and increasing community engagement for youth and families. Outcomes include increasing protective factors for youth and their families, including improving family relationships, social skills, peer relationships, and prosocial community views. No portion of the project budget will be used to conduct research.