Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $1,250,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 5 (Statewide and Regional Mentoring Initiative for Youth Impacted by Opioids) supports a broad-based approach to building mentoring program capacity in targeted regions throughout the country to help youth impacted by opioids. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 116-6, 133 Stat. 13, 115.
The Vermont Department for Children and Families (VDCF) will make a subaward to MENTOR Vermont, which will in turn make subgrantee grant awards to highly qualified agencies. The subgrantees will deliver mentoring programming to underserved rural communities in four regions of Vermont: the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest. These regions include nine counties: Bennington, Caledonia, Essex, Orleans, Franklin, Grand Isle, Rutland, Windham, and Windsor. The project's target population is rural youth (ages 6-17) with adverse childhood experiences and other known risk factors for substance abuse, including poverty. Within this target group, MENTOR Vermont will make youth affected by opioids a priority. The project will provide evidence-informed mentoring services to youth and will increase the number of active mentoring matches in these regions by 200 over the 3-year project period. All mentoring agencies will conduct mentoring programs that follow the evidence-informed MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership standards. Thus, programs must have completed the Quality Mentoring System review process within the past 3 years or complete it during year 1 of the grant. Regardless of the specific mentoring program model (school-based or community-based), all funded mentoring programs will meet the nationally recognized best practices in each of the six areas of core practice standards listed in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. As a result of this project, rural Vermont youth will have more supportive social environments that will reduce the risk of engaging in negative behaviors, which can escalate to opioid abuse, juvenile delinquency, and youth victimization. Families will be better supported in their youth's development, which will also reduce the risk of their youth engaging in these negative behaviors. CA/NCF