Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,000,000)
Through this project, The Friends of the Children's (FOTC) Adolescent Education Support Strategies and Caregiver Partnership project will benefit a total of 2600 youth in at least twelve states who are most at risk of delinquency, violence, substance abuse, school failure and early parenting. The goals of the project are to: provide 12 hours/month (144 hours/year) of professional, individualized goal-directed mentoring to 2,600 youth ages 4-17 (enrolling 625 new youth) who have been assessed as high risk for later anti-social behavior and delinquency by granting subawards to chapters within the growing national network that will serve middle and high school students during the three-year grant period; develop and integrate youth informed, research-based, and culturally responsive training enhancements for Friends, supervisors, and program staff, focused on: middle and high school engagement and academic support strategies; and skill-building tools for partnering with caregivers during adolescence, advancing educational goals and positive identity development and strengthening parent-youth relationships. Following pilot testing, enhancements will be disseminated across the FOTC network and the national mentoring/youth development field. FOTC will hire Friends from the communities served and integrate youth and caregiver feedback throughout the project. For enhancements, FOTC will collaborate with consultants with experience strengthening adolescent school performance; and partnering with caregivers. FOTC will track youth improvement on social emotional learning skill building, school performance, and the avoidance of risky behaviors such as substance abuse and juvenile delinquency; and track staff improved knowledge and implementation of enhancements.