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Deadline: May 27, 2014

U.S. Department of Justice: Practitioner-Researcher Partnership Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents Demonstration Program

This demonstration program will support a practitioner-researcher partnership to develop and evaluate new mentoring practices to serve the needs of youth whose parents are incarcerated. Incarcerated parents and their children are a heterogeneous group, and associations between parental incarceration and developmental outcomes are complicated. However, research has shown that having an incarcerated parent can present individual and environmental risks for the child and increase the likelihood of negative outcomes. While mentoring has been shown to be an effective intervention for youth, more research is needed to understand how the unique needs of youth who have incarcerated parents are best supported through mentoring.

Under this program, practitioners and researchers must partner to enhance existing mentoring programs to serve children of incarcerated parents and evaluate the new approach. (The program development/ implementation and evaluation will be funded as two separate awards under the corresponding categories described below.) The mentoring model that applicants will develop and test should enhance their existing mentoring services, incorporate changes to each of the eight elements of mentoring practice noted in the solicitation, and be implemented across multiple sites. The evaluation should be a rigorous, random assignment experimental design.

For purposes of this solicitation, the mentoring model to be developed and tested must respond to the unique needs, risk factors, and strengths of the target population. OJJDP defines the target population to include all of the following:

  • children currently with an incarcerated parent.
  • children whose parent(s) has been incarcerated at some point during the child’s lifetime.
  • children living in neighborhoods or communities that have disproportionately high rates of adult incarceration compared to national averages. (Note that OJJDP intends that this target population may include children who do not have [or have ever had] an incarcerated parent.)

Applicants must submit their applications under one of the following two categories:

Category 1: Program Development and Implementation: This demonstration program will support the enhancement of existing mentoring services to better serve children with incarcerated parents. The proposed program model should apply current research and knowledge about mentoring and risk and protective factors to develop new and/or improve mentoring practices for this population. Because of the sudden, and often traumatic, absence of a parent, children of incarcerated parents may face additional barriers in forming trusting relationships with mentors. OJJDP does not anticipate that the applicant will develop a new mentoring program, but rather that the applicant will integrate new practices to better serve children of incarcerated parents within a current mentoring model.

Category 2: Evaluation: This program will support a rigorous evaluation of the implementation and impact of this enhanced approach.

To be considered eligible under this program, all applicants must document in their abstract that they have applied with a corresponding partner under the alternate category.

Eligibility: Eligible applicants are limited to states (including territories), units of local government (including federally recognized tribal governments, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), nonprofit and for-profit organizations (including tribal nonprofit and for-profit organizations), and institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education). For-profit organizations must agree to forgo any profit or management fee.

To be considered eligible under this program, all applicants must document in their application abstract that they have a partnership with an organization that has agreed to submit an application under the alternate category. Category 1 practitioner applicants must identify their corresponding evaluator/research partner applying under Category 2, and Category 2 evaluator/research applicants must identify their corresponding practitioner partner applying under Category 1. In addition, Category 1 applicants must implement the same mentoring program model and practice enhancements in multiple sites, and Category 2 applicants must conduct a multi-site evaluation.

Applicants under Category 1 can include either a collaboration of different mentoring organizations or separate implementation sites of the same organization. Each site must agree to implement the same mentoring program model.

Under each category in the solicitation, OJJDP welcomes joint applications from two or more eligible applicants; however, one applicant must be clearly indicated as the primary applicant(for correspondence, award, and management purposes) and the others indicated as co-applicants.

Amount: OJJDP expects to make one award under Category 1 and one award under Category 2 of as much as $2.5 million under each category (for a total of $5 million under this solicitation) for a project period of 5 years.

Link: http://www.ojjdp.gov/grants/solicitations/FY2014/PartnershipMentoringCOIP.pdf

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