U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Friends of the Children Two Gen Approach to Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Project

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $2,000,000)

The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 2 (Multi-State Mentoring Program) provides funding to support mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities within local chapters or sub-awardees (in at least 5 states but fewer than 45 states) to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse (specifically opioid abuse), truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors. FY 2018 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in underserved youth, including youth in high-risk environments. Programs are encouraged to target their mentoring services to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth; children of parents on active military duty; children of incarcerated parents; youth with disabilities; youth with opioid/substance abuse problems; and youth in rural communities. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub L. No. 116-6, 133 Stat. 13, 115.

The Friends of the Children (FOTC) Two Gen Approach to Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Project will benefit children who are most at risk of delinquency, violence, substance abuse, school failure, and early parenting in at least 10 states. FOTC employs salaried, professional mentors (called “Friends”) and commits to youth for 12.5 years. The purpose of this project is to improve youth development outcomes for children (ages 4–17) and to strengthen FOTC’s professional mentoring approach by implementing new program enhancements. The goals and objectives are the following: (1) provide 12 hours/month of professional, individualized goal-directed mentoring to children/youth who have been assessed as high risk for later antisocial behavior and delinquency; (2) develop new evidence-based Friend training, support, and supervision approaches of motivational interviewing and attunement to improve healthy habits and prosocial decision-making with a particular focus on reducing substance abuse and delinquency; (3) strengthen Friends’ capacity to build trust and empower caregivers impacted by incarceration and opioid use or other substances by integrating evidence-based Family Checkup practices. FOTC will measure success by (1) tracking youth improvement on social emotional learning skill-building, academic outcomes, and the avoidance of risky behaviors such as substance abuse and juvenile delinquency; and (2) tracking Friends’ improved knowledge and implementation of enhancement strategies. FOTC will track performance measures using an existing internal Efforts to Outcomes data management system and will not use any portion of the project budget to conduct research. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 19, 2019