Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $500,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 4 (Project Sites and Mentoring Strategies for Youth Impacted by Opioids) supports youth mentoring organizations that have a demonstrated partnership with a public or private substance abuse treatment agency. The focus of this category is to provide mentoring services as a part of a prevention, treatment and supportive approach for those youth impacted by opioids. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 116-6, 133 Stat. 13, 115.
The Governor's Prevention Partnership is the lead applicant and fiduciary working with Children's Community Programs of Connecticut, The Children's Center of Hamden, and New Haven Public Schools. The program and its partners are uniquely positioned to respond to youth who have a history of substance use and those with family members who are currently using opioids, or who have ever used opioids themselves or who are at risk for opioid use disorder. The partnership is an affiliate of MENTOR: National Mentoring Partnership. The partnership works to increase the number of youth who have positive connections through effective mentoring. It will implement the New Haven Mentoring with NIA project for youth impacted by opioids by bolstering protective factors against opioid use, as well as increasing the likelihood of youth developing healthy attitudes and behaviors as they grow. New Haven Mentoring with NIA will employ a three-tiered prevention approach. Tier I will use an emerging practice through the partnership's E3: Encourage, Empower, and Engage substance abuse prevention program to raise awareness and increase the perception of the harm caused by drugs and alcohol at both the school and community level. Tier II focuses on ninth grade students and uses a one-on-one mentoring strategy to connect with students who have been impacted by opioids but are not currently using. Tier III focuses on students that currently use or have used opiates; they are identified through substance abuse treatment providers for participation in one-on-one mentoring. The partnership will measure progress and impact by tracking key youth, school, and community indicators and proposes to initiate 200 mentoring relationships during the 3-year initiative. The partnership also proposes to engage 60 eleventh-grade peer leaders at Hillhouse High School to facilitate interactive group activities for Tier II mentees and sponsor Tier I whole-school prevention campaigns and aims to increase connectedness with school and caring adults, and to increase the perception of the harm that substance use can cause. Long-term, the partnership endeavors to reduce the occurrence of opioid use among adolescents and young adults. CA/NCF