Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $320,000)
The Supporting Victims of Gang Violence Grant Program provides funding for localities to increase the availability of direct support services for victims of gang-related violence and to develop or enhance the responses to children and youth exposed to gang-related violence in their homes, schools, and communities. This program is authorized by Pub. L. No. 116-6, 133 Stat. 13, 113; 34 USC 20103(c)(1)(A. The Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA) is proposing the Lompoc Youth Resiliency Project which seeks to enhance the responses to youth exposed to gang-related violence in their community. The proposed project will target 6th - 12th grade students in the Lompoc Unified School District who have been identified by school staff or police as being exposed to gang violence and may be exhibiting symptoms of trauma. Students attending these schools are located in neighborhoods with high levels of gang activity. The goal of the Lompoc Youth Resiliency Project is to improve the mental health outcomes for at-risk youth at schools impacted by gang violence. The project objectives are to:(1) Improve Lompoc Unified School District’s response to gang-related violence in the community by implementing Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) and Trauma Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT); (2) Build a community coalition to address the needs of the community and establish a network of services for victims of gang violence; (3) Conduct ongoing staff training and fidelity monitoring in evidence-based practice (CBITS and TF-CBT)) and track program outcomes to provide ongoing program improvement and to assess its effectiveness in addressing trauma among the target population; and (4) Reduce youth victimization and revictimization as a result of gang-related violence or witnessing gang violence in the Lompoc community. To achieve these objectives, the project will partner with the Lompoc Unified School District (LUSD) to develop and implement evidence-based strategies targeting at-risk youth from the targeted schools. The project will implement CBITS and TF-CBT, that will serve an estimated 190 students in the first year, and 260 in years two and three, for a total of 710 students served during the three-year grant period. In addition, the project will hire a Resiliency Counselor and counseling interns, train existing staff, and work with law enforcement for referrals. CADA will partner with LUSD and the Lompoc Police Department to convene a task force and identify new partners, establishing a network of resources in the community. The Youth Resiliency Project will educate parents and teachers on the impact of trauma and ways to support resiliency among the youth they care for and teach. Finally, the project will facilitate training in CBITS and TF-CBT for school-based counseling staff and monitor program fidelity. Key project assessments will use established CBITS and TF-CBT program tools and measures, surveys, fidelity monitoring forms, meeting minutes, log-ins, number of referrals made and number of partners established.