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.
The Gulf Coast Teaching Family Services, Inc. (GCTFS) will implement the Leaders of Tomorrow (L.O.T.) Program, a community-based mentoring program which will serve youth, male or female between the ages of 8-17, residing in the Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquernines and St. Bernard Parishes of Louisiana, who have come or are at-risk of coming into the juvenile justice system. The target population will be matched with caring adult mentors who will offer support, consistency, and a chance for them to develop the knowledge and skills needed to reach their full potential. The purpose of the program is to reduce the likelihood of juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, truancy, recidivism and other high risk behaviors among youth and increase the likelihood of positive outcomes. The program will focus on enhancing the structured activities for the mentor and mentoring participant. Youths will participate in structured group cognitive behavior classes bi-weekly with the "Thinking for a Change" model and the Ansell-Casey Life Skills model. Youth will receive one on one mentoring services four to six hours per month, peer group sessions twice a week for an hour, and participate in structured, group outings every month and an annual family event. Progress will be measured through data collected on a monthly basis, focusing on youth's performance according to the required output measures.