Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $500,000)
While research indicates that quality mentoring is a promising delinquency prevention technique, certain program characteristics and elements are moderators of its effectiveness. This solicitation invites eligible applicants to propose evidence-based enhancements that are among these moderators of program effectiveness. The three strategies include: (1) involving the parents in activities or services, (2) providing structured activities and programs for the mentoring matches, and (3) developing and implementing on-going training and support for mentors. This initiative is authorized by the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2010, P.L. 111-117.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio addresses the problem of juvenile delinquency through professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships. At present there are more than 30,000 children in their service area who experience multiple risk factors for juvenile delinquency. Their mentoring programs serve youth ages 5-18, most of whom live below the poverty line, are growing up without two parents and are behind academically. Mentors meet in person with their child for an average of at least one hour once per week. Mentors are required to make at least a one-year commitment. Through this grant the organization will utilize technology to enhance and increase access to mentor training to create longer-lasting, higher-quality mentoring relationships. They expect that 70% of mentees who complete the program will remain positive or show improvements in their developmental assets, making them more likely to attain their high school degree, based on surveys completed by the mentees before and after the program. They expect to support 3,520 mentoring relationships for at-risk youth in 2010-11; 3,690 in 2011-12; and 3,750 in 2012-13.