This report describes the planning and implementation and evaluation results from the Safe Kids/Safe Streets (SK/SS) national evaluation on the Building Strong Native American Families (BSNAF) demonstration project in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the Safe Kids/Safe Streets (SK/SS) program which began in 1997 is designed to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect and the development of juvenile delinquency by funding community collaboratives. Five localities within five States implemented the SK/SS program: Alabama, Missouri, Ohio, Vermont, and Michigan. This report presents findings from the SK/SS national evaluation on the Building Strong Native American Families (BSNAF) demonstration project located in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Planning for the program included a wide range of Tribal and non-Tribal agencies and representatives. Implementation of the BSNAF program occurred in 1999. The activities undertaken under each of the four federally mandated program elements are discussed with the elements consisting of system reform and accountability, continuum of services, data collection and evaluation, and prevention education and public information. BSNAF succeeded in developing a program in line with OJP’s vision of SK/SS. In acknowledging the success of the BSNAF program, several factors had a positive impact on the program: Tribal leadership support, committed and experienced staff, lead agency, and commitment to revitalization of cultural and spiritual values and traditions. However, the program also faced many challenges which included: involvement of Tribal justice system agencies and personnel, maintaining momentum, evaluation capacity, data reporting, service orientation, and management turnover in child placement services.