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U.S. Department of Justice: Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative

Deadline: April 22, 2019

The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative supports applicant organizations as they strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities with active chapters or subawardees and/or other mentoring organizations. Mentoring activities include direct one-on-one, group, peer, or a combination of these types of mentoring services for at-risk and juvenile justice system-involved youth populations. Successful mentoring programs include matches between a mentor and one or more youth. Mentoring can take place in multiple and informal settings and in a school or program context. This initiative offers five program categories. Applicants must designate the category for which they are applying. Applicants in all categories must initiate mentoring services to youth who are 17 years old or younger at the time of admission to the program:

Category 1—National Mentoring Programs. This category supports organizations with the widest reach and capacity to provide youth mentoring services across the country. Only national organizations are eligible to apply in this category. Applicants are encouraged to subaward at least 90 percent of this award to active chapters or subrecipients, located in at least 38 states. Priority considerations for Category 1 include the following:

  • Target population. The target population should include those youth who are identified as being at risk for delinquency or victimization and/or are involved in the juvenile justice system. Applicants are required to develop and implement a plan to serve American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth, both on and off reservations, with these grant funds. Applicants are strongly encouraged to target mentoring services that incorporate opportunities for youth and law enforcement engagement. Applicants are also encouraged to consider how best to serve 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. Mentoring programs serving these populations should highlight how the anticipated services would best support the unique needs of these populations, such as with key partnerships or specialized curricula.
  • At-risk youth. At-risk youth are defined as youth who are who are most likely to engage in delinquent behavior, be victimized, and/or have a risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system because they possess certain predictive/correlative characteristics and/or reside in environments that have high rates of parental incarceration, community violence, drug markets, gang concentration, and failing schools. Risk factors for juvenile delinquency are multidimensional across individual, family, community, peer, and school factors. Applicants should fully address how the behaviors, characteristics, factors, etc. identified for at-risk youth relate to involvement in the juvenile justice system.

Category 2—Multistate Mentoring Programs. This category supports youth mentoring services provided by organizations in at least five states but fewer than 45 states. Only multistate organizations are eligible to apply in this category. Priority considerations for Category 2 include the following:

  • Broadest reach. Applicants should address how the proposed mentoring approach will reach a diverse and broad population of youth. The following factors will be considered in this determination: number of states where the applicant organization can show a history of providing mentoring services through subawards, number of states where the applicant organization proposes to use the awarded grant funds to provide mentoring services, number of program sites where the applicant organization can demonstrate a history of providing mentoring services through subawards, number of program sites where the applicant organization proposes to use the awarded grant funds to provide mentoring services, number of youth served, number of mentors recruited, and diversity in the youth being served.
  • Target population. The target population should include those youth who are identified as being at risk for delinquency or victimization and/or are involved in the juvenile justice system. In addition, applicants are strongly encouraged to target mentoring services that incorporate opportunities for youth and law enforcement engagement. Applicants are also encouraged to consider how best to serve 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. Mentoring programs serving these populations should highlight how the anticipated services would best support the unique needs of these populations, such as with key partnerships or specialized curricula.

Category 3—Mentoring Programs for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System. This category seeks to support youth mentoring organizations that have a demonstrated partnership (via a memorandum of understanding) with a juvenile justice agency. The focus of this category is to provide mentoring services to those system-involved youth screened as being low risk to public safety by a juvenile justice agency as part of an overall diversion approach, with a goal of rehabilitation and accountability. The program is intended to be a resource for juvenile justice agency staff (i.e., probation officers) to make available to those youth on their caseload who are in need of and most appropriate for community-based supervision and/or diversion services. Priority considerations for Category 3 include the following:

  • Target population. The priority target population includes those youth who are screened as being low risk to public safety by a juvenile justice agency. Services may also be provided to youth post-adjudication as part of an alternative-to-detention approach authorized by the court and supportive services while on probation or community supervision. Youth returning from residential placement who are under court supervision and deemed low risk to public safety are eligible for these services. Applicants are also encouraged to consider youth with opioid/substance abuse problems and youth in rural communities as a part of the target population.
  • Demonstrated partnership. Applicant mentoring organizations must have established a formal relationship with a juvenile justice agency to be eligible for Category 3. Evidence of this formal relationship must be a fully executed memorandum of understanding between the agencies, and can be established specifically in response to this funding opportunity. However, agencies demonstrating existing relationships with a juvenile justice agency will receive priority consideration.
  • Youth and law enforcement engagement. Applicant organizations are encouraged to provide opportunities for youth and law enforcement engagement as part of their program model or approach. This can include using law enforcement personnel as mentors or creating activities where targeted youth have positive interactions with law enforcement personnel. Applicants will develop and implement mentoring programs and strategies designed for youth referred to a juvenile justice agency. Applicants are expected to incorporate best practices in mentoring derived from research and related literature. Applicants are encouraged to consider a variety of mentoring approaches, such as one-on-one, group, student/peer, team, educational, and sports mentoring; professional development coaching; and other approaches best suited to meet the needs of the target population.

Category 4—Mentoring Strategies for Youth Impacted by Opioids (Project Sites). This category supports youth mentoring organizations that have a demonstrated partnership (via a memorandum of understanding) with a public or private substance abuse treatment agency. The focus of this category is to provide mentoring services as part of a prevention, treatment, and supportive approach for those youth impacted by opioids. It is expected that mentoring organizations will develop and implement innovative mentoring approaches for this target population of youth. This may include a variety of practices, including but not limited to those informed by research on cognitive behavioral, contingency management, or any 12-step facilitation interventions and techniques. In addition, while funding may be used to support activities as part of the proposed mentoring model (i.e., recreational activities, skill-building activities for the youth focused on relapse prevention, drug prevention education, transportation, incidental costs for the mentor), it may not be used to fund direct service delivery as part of the model (i.e., mental health/substance abuse counselor, residential placement services). According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the estimated relapse rate for drug abuse treatment programs is between 40 and 60 percent. The increased stress of leaving treatment and returning to a home or community with multiple risk factors without adequate supports can contribute to relapse and additional criminal behavior. This category will use the impact of high-quality mentoring services to help prevent relapse and will provide training to mentors to understand the signs and symptoms of opioid abuse for those at risk of using opioids. Priority considerations for Category 4 include the following:

  • Target population. The priority target population must include those youth impacted by opioids. This includes youth who are currently using or have used opioids, youth at high risk for using opioids (i.e., presence of individual, family, and community risk factors for substance abuse), and youth with family members who are currently using or have used opioids. The goal of the mentoring and supportive services is to help prevent the youth from using opioids in the first place, ensure that youth who have used opioids are successful in their recovery efforts, and provide support and guidance to youth with family members who are currently using or have used opioids. To demonstrate how they are serving communities with highest need and targeting not only youth who are using or at high risk for using opioids but also those youth who are seriously impacted by parents or family members who are addicted to opioids, applicants could discuss how they will target those communities that have high per capita levels of primary treatment admissions for opioids.
  • Demonstrated partnership. Applicant mentoring organizations must have established a formal relationship with a public or private substance abuse treatment agency. Evidence of this formal relationship must be a fully executed memorandum of understanding between the agencies, and can be established specifically in response to this initiative. However, agencies demonstrating existing relationships with a substance abuse treatment agency will receive priority consideration.
  • Rural communities. This initiative is interested in expanding the presence of mentoring services in rural communities. For this category, priority will be given to those applicants that target services to youth in rural communities across the country.

Category 5—Statewide and Regional Mentoring Initiative for Youth Impacted by Opioids. This category will support a more broad-based approach to building mentoring program capacity in targeted regions throughout the country to help youth impacted by opioids. Only states, federally recognized tribes, and national organizations are eligible to apply for this category. This category will support statewide or regional approaches to expanding mentoring services for these targeted youth. This may include states providing subgrants to mentoring organizations in particular regions (especially rural communities), tribes supporting various mentoring programs operating throughout a reservation, and national organizations funding active chapters or subrecipients in specific regions across the country (especially rural communities) with demonstrated high levels of opioid abuse. It is expected that mentoring organizations will develop and implement innovative mentoring approaches for this target population of youth. This may include a variety of practices, including but not limited to those informed by research on cognitive behavioral, contingency management, or any 12-step facilitation interventions and techniques. In addition, while funding may be used to support activities as part of the proposed mentoring model (i.e., recreational activities, skill-building activities for the youth focused on relapse prevention, drug prevention education, transportation, incidental costs for the mentor), it may not be used to fund direct service delivery as part of the model (i.e., mental health/substance abuse counselor, residential placement services). Priority considerations for Category 5 include the following:

  • Target population. The priority target population must include those youth impacted by opioids. This includes youth who are currently using or have used opioids, youth at high risk for using opioids (i.e., presence of individual, family, and community risk factors for substance abuse), and youth with family members who are currently using or have used opioids. The goal of the mentoring and supportive services is to help prevent the youth from using opioids in the first place, ensure that youth who have used opioids are successful in their recovery efforts, and provide support and guidance to youth with family members who are currently using or have used opioids. To demonstrate how they are serving communities with highest need and targeting not only youth who are using or at high risk for using opioids but also those youth who are seriously impacted by parents or family members who are addicted to opioids, applicants could discuss how they will target those communities that have high per capita levels of primary treatment admissions for opioids.
  • Rural communities. Applicants should propose to expand the presence of mentoring services in rural communities. For this category, priority will be given to those applicants that target services to youth in rural communities across the country.

Amount: Dependent upon category:

  • Under Category 1, an application may be for a period of performance of as long as three years. The requested award amount should cover the entire proposed period of performance and be based on the allowable costs associated with the program. Applicants are encouraged to minimize their administrative costs in an effort to subaward at least 90 percent of this award to active chapters or subrecipients. Up to five awards will be made in this category.
  • Under Category 2, an application may be for a period of performance of as long as three years. Applicants that meet the minimum requirement of having active chapters or subawardees in at least five states may request as much as $2,000,000, and those applicants that demonstrate the broadest reach (as detailed above) may request as much as $4,000,000. Up to twelve awards will be made in this category.
  • Under Category 3, an applicant may request as much as $500,000 for a period of performance of as long as three years. Up to nine awards will be made in this category.
  • Under Category 4, an applicant may request as much as $500,000 for a period of performance of as long as three years. Up to nine awards will be made in this category.
  • Under Category 5, an applicant may request as much as $1,250,000 for a period of performance of as long as three years. Up to six awards will be made in this category.

Eligibility: Dependent upon category:

  • Category 1—National Mentoring Programs. Eligible applicants are limited to national organizations, defined as organizations that have active chapters or subawardees in at least 45 states.
  • Category 2—Multistate Mentoring Programs. Eligible applicants are limited to multistate organizations, defined as organizations that have operated an established mentoring program for at least three years and have active chapters or subawardees in at least five states but fewer than 45 states.
  • Category 3—Mentoring Programs for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System. Eligible applicants are limited to private organizations (nonprofit organizations and for-profit organizations, including tribal nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and faith-based organizations). To be eligible in Category 3, applicants must at the time of application: 1) Have operated an established mentoring program for at least one year, and 2) Have a demonstrated partnership (via a memorandum of understanding) with a public agency legally responsible for handling juvenile crime and delinquency in a state, tribe, city, or county (hereafter referred to as juvenile justice agency).
  • Category 4—Mentoring Strategies for Youth Impacted by Opioids (Project Sites). Eligible applicants are limited to private organizations (nonprofit organizations and for-profit organizations, including tribal nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and faith-based organizations). To be eligible in Category 4, applicants must at the time of application: 1) Have operated an established mentoring program for at least one year, and 2) Have a demonstrated partnership (via a memorandum of understanding) with a public or private substance abuse treatment agency.
  • Category 5—Statewide and Regional Mentoring Initiative for Youth Impacted by Opioids. Eligible applicants are limited to national organizations, states (including territories), and federally recognized tribal governments as determined by the Secretary of the Interior. Eligible applicants must provide mentoring services to youth who are 17 years old or younger at the time of admission to the program.

An organization that applies for funding in Category 1 may also be eligible to apply for Category 5, but is ineligible to apply for funds in Categories 2, 3, and 4. An organization that applies for funding in Category 2 may also apply to receive funds in Categories 3 and 4.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=313096

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