Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $231,000)
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.
Crossroads Programs will collaborate with community partners focused on preventing the involvement of at-risk youth in delinquency and other high risk behaviors, leading to improved personal outcomes and greater community safety and satisfaction. They currently serve girls, 11 to 13 years, who are assessed as "high-risk" with the intention of intervening early enough to divert them from a path leading to antisocial activities and juvenile delinquency. Their focus is on girls who are not easily accommodated by traditional mentoring services due to the intensity of their emotional/behavioral needs. Using professional mentoring services, with the help of trained volunteers, the project will address the precursors of delinquency by introducing healthy role models and promoting prosocial behaviors. The program enhancement will increase services to parents and engage them in both individual services and group activities. The goal is to increase the "protective factors" in the lives of at-risk youth and families. Outcome objectives will focus on the youth's well-being and their social/emotional health, healthy parenting attitudes, and an improved connection to school. Progress will be measured by an emotional and social impairments scale, an inventory of parental attitudes, and school attendance and progress reports.