Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,250,000)
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 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) program will serve youth who are or have abused opioids, youth at high risk for abusing opioids, and youth with family members who are currently abusing or have abused opioids. Within these three areas, BBBSA will focus efforts to connect with youth who exhibit one or more documented risk factor for substance abuse. Intensive mentoring programs will aim to decrease the likelihood that youth will engage in opioid abuse by connecting them to caring and supportive adults; bolstering youth, mentor, and parent/caregiver understanding of opioid abuse; and offer customized supplemental support to youth dealing with opioid abuse directly. Over the course of 18 months of direct mentoring, BBBSA will provide a minimum of three opioid abuse prevention trainings to all youth mentees, and provide six trainings for parents, caregivers, mentor program staff, and mentors. Within the population of youth who are affected by opioid abuse, BBBSA will refine efforts to reach those who are most vulnerable and most at risk. Examples of these groups include those who are currently or have been involved in the juvenile justice system, American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) youth, those in rural or persistent-poverty communities, and those who have an incarcerated parent or a parent deployed in the military. The selection of sites will be significantly influenced by the documented presence of opioid abuse in that particular area or region, as well as consideration of the presence of QOZs, high or persistent-poverty areas, and rural geographies. No portion of the funding will be used for research. CA/NCF