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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Investigation of Research-Informed Enhancements to Program Practices

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $250,000)

This project supports the programmatic implementation of a mentoring program under Category 1 of the solicitation. This program furthers the Department's mission by providing grants for mentoring activities to organizations that OJJDP designates.

The Practitioner-Researcher Partnership in Cognitive Behavioral Mentoring Program will support the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative mentoring approaches for youth at high risk for delinquency/juvenile and criminal justice involvement or victimization and trauma. These mentoring approaches must incorporate practices that are informed by research on cognitive behavioral interventions and techniques. The program will fund a partnership between a practitioner/service provider and an evaluator/researcher.

The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of San Francisco (Category 1; 2016-50746-CA-JU) will enhance the YMCA Reach and Rise mentoring model to incorporate cognitive behavioral techniques (CBT) and will partner with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) (Category 2; 2016-50748-DC-JU) to evaluate the implementation and impact of the enhanced model. With this project, the Reach & Rise model will incorporate additional elements of cognitive behavioral practices by: (1) expanding the training of mentors in the use of CBT; (2) adding specific CBT components to goal setting; (3) designing a directed monthly check-in strategy to reinforce the theory and change in behavior; and (4) developing and implementing a CBT parent support and education. A total of 25 sites across 25 states will serve as the intervention sites and implement the enhancements. An additional 8 sites will serve as the “business-as-usual” (BAU) group. The program will enroll eligible youth in the 33 sites (an estimated 2,640 demographically diverse youth) and work with the evaluator to assign them into either the program conditions (enhanced treatment or BAU) or a waitlist group in each of the sites. The program will also work with the evaluation partner to assess the outcomes of the three groups over a two-year period using survey assessments of parents, youth, mentors, and staff in addition to academic and juvenile justice records data. CBT curriculums for mentor training and parent support will be distributed to practitioners. Findings will be disseminated through: briefs directed toward practitioners, policy makers and funders, publications in academic journals, and interim and final reports to OJJDP. The program will deepen understanding of how to more effectively leverage and bring to scale innovative techniques that can be maximized to meet the needs of high risk youth, preventing future system involvement.


Date Created: September 28, 2016