Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $1,249,999)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 5 (Statewide and Regional Mentoring Initiative for Youth Impacted by Opioids and Drug Addiction) supports a broad-based approach to building mentoring program capacity in targeted regions throughout the country to help youth impacted by opioids and drug addiction. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 116-93, 133 Stat. 2317, 2410.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) will build the capacity of park and recreation (P&R) agencies in rural Appalachia and rural New England to develop and implement evidence-based mentoring programs to prevent, reduce, and address opioid abuse among youth age 17 or younger who are impacted by opioids. The program will enhance and apply NRPA's Youth Mentoring (YM) Framework to provide P&R-based mentorship for youth at high risk for abusing opioids, youth who are currently abusing or have previously abused opioids, and youth with friends and/or family members who are currently abusing or have abused opioids. Target areas are those with high overdose mortality rates, high-poverty areas/persistent-poverty counties, and QOZs. NRPA will provide grants training, technical assistance, and capacity building assistance to P&R agencies in rural Appalachia and New England to assess community needs, develop mentorship programs guided by NRPAs YM Framework, and implement evidence-based mentorship opportunities. The programs goal is to prevent, reduce, and address opioid abuse among rural youth in Appalachia and New England through evidence-based mentoring practices in local P&R agencies. Program objectives are to (1) implement NRPAs YM Framework at 10 local P&R agencies to provide direct one-on-one (250) and group mentoring services (100) to at least 350 rural youth in Appalachia and New England who are currently abusing or have abused opioids, or who are at risk for opioid abuse; (2) implement family engagement activities at 10 local P&R agencies in rural Appalachia and New England focused on opioid abuse prevention, reaching at least 100 parents/caregivers; and (3) build the capacity of 500 P&R professionals to implement evidence-based mentoring practices for rural youth who are currently abusing or have abused opioids, or who are at risk for opioid abuse. NRPA will partner with The National Mentoring Partnership and NORC to support training, technical assistance, curriculum-based assessment (CBA), and consultation activities. Key long-term outcomes include reduced risk of opioid abuse among youth, and key deliverables include the Master Mentor train-the-trainer resource and supplemental design enhancement resources. CA/NCF