Juvenile Mentoring Program
To support one-to-one mentoring programs for youth at risk of educational failure, dropping out of school, or involvement in delinquent activities, including gangs and drug abuse.
Part G of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974, as amended, authorizes the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to fund a Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP). In fiscal year (FY) 1998, Congress appropriated $12 million to support this program through project funding, of which $2 million will support training and technical assistance, $1 million will support Big Brothers Big Sisters (BB/BS) operations, and $.9 million will support evaluation activity.
The remaining project funding will support SafeFutures program sites, funding for new JUMP grantees, and continuation support for JUMP grantees funded in 1995. Additional funding for JUMP grantees who received awards in 1995 will enhance the evaluation results and provide an opportunity for these initial JUMP grantees to fully implement their programs.
Mentoring, as the term is used under Part G, is defined as a one-to-one relationship between a pair of unrelated individuals, one an adult age 21 or older (mentor) and the other a juvenile (mentee), which takes place on a regular basis over an extended period of time. It is usually characterized by a "special bond of mutual commitment" and "an emotional character of respect, loyalty, and identification" (Hamilton, 1990).
As a movement, mentoring has its roots in the closing decades of the 19th century with "Friendly Visitors" who served as role models for children of the poor. Mentoring enjoyed new popularity in the 1970's when corporations heralded the concept as one that fosters achievement. Mentoring was seen as a particularly critical ingredient to success on the corporate ladder (Freedman, 1992).
Within the past 10 years, mentoring has targeted a new group-disadvantaged children and youth. It has emerged as a promising approach for enriching children's lives, addressing the isolation of youth from adult contact, and providing support and advocacy to children who need it. Mentoring is also recognized as an important vehicle for harnessing the talents of volunteers to address the problems of poverty (Freedman, 1992).
In April 1997, as a result of the President's Summit For America's Future, the mentoring movement took on a new dimension. Every caring adult in America was challenged to pledge their individual commitment to serve youth at risk. The Summit declared that all young Americans have the right to five fundamental resources that can aid them in leading a healthy, fulfilling, and productive life. These resources are an ongoing relationship with a caring adult-mentor, safe places and structured activities during nonschool hours to learn and grow, a healthy start, amarketable skill through effective education, and an opportunity to give back through community service.
Through the JUMP program, Congress has recognized the potential of mentoring as a tool for preventing delinquency by addressing two critical concerns: poor school performance and dropping out of school. Accordingly, OJJDP is making funds available for mentoring programs that specifically address these concerns. Congress also has acknowledged the importance of school collaboration in mentoring programs, either as a primary applicant or in partnership with a public or private nonprofit organization.
In a recent study of mentoring, Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) conducted an experimental evaluation of BB/BS programs (Tierney et al., 1995). In this study, youth were randomly assigned to a BB/BS mentoring program or to a BB/BS waiting list. The study findings emphasized the importance of carefully structured programs with adequate organizational management, training, case management, policies, procedures, and clear standards. These standards addressed screening of adults and youth, training and orientation of volunteers, the matching process, required frequency of meetings, and supervision of matches.
Although the P/PV study did not evaluate the dropout rate of the mentored youth, it found that a one-to-one mentoring experience made a tangible difference in the lives of young people. The study identified several positive results:
P/PV concluded that the research presented clear and encouraging evidence that caring relationships between adults and youth, resulting in a wide range of tangible benefits, can be created and supported by mentoring programs.
While the P/PV study did not characterize the type of relationship that was formed or relate it to the impact on the youth, the researchers did say that the study enabled them to make several observations about the relationships between mentor and mentee:
P/PV's study (and others) also identified key program infrastructure prerequisites:
Although there are no definitive research findings to date with regard to the OJJDP-funded JUMP program, several observations can be made as a result of the establishment and operation of these projects:
To reduce juvenile delinquency and gang participation by at-risk youth, to improve academic performance of at-risk youth, and to reduce the dropout rate for at-risk youth through the establishment of one-to-one mentoring.
The objectives of this initiative are to:
The strategy of the JUMP program is to fund collaborative efforts between local educational agencies (LEA's) and public/private nonprofit organizations to support development of effective mentoring programs for at-risk youth. OJJDP encourages applications from both new programs and those programs with proven track records and a desire to expand their mentoring activities in accordance with this solicitation.
All applications must include the following:
A one-page project abstract should provide the following information: (1) location of project-city, county, and State; (2) setting-urban or rural; (3) expansion or new mentoring program, (4) age of mentees, (5) type of mentors-for example, police officers, nurses, teachers, or grandparents; (6) number of matches projected for each year of the 3-year project; (7) type of program-for example, afterschool, school-based, court-involved youth, or year round; (8) identity of target group-African-American females, Latino males, or others; and (9) narrative no longer than three paragraphs detailing something significant or unique about the project.
The problem statement should address the characteristics of the target area that demonstrate the need for an effective mentoring project. Each applicant must describe the community in which the project will operate and document that the target population meets the definition of at-risk youth.
In stating the community's need for a mentoring project, applicants must provide data on all the risk factors that impact youth in the target area. This should include the most current data on all of the following factors: (1) existing school dropout rates; (2) teenage pregnancy rates; (3) the serious and violent juvenile crime rate; (4) gang activity in the target area; (5) juvenile arrests;
(6) the nature and percentage of drug use and sale; (7) percentage of eligible youth in the participating school, community, or eligible population that receive Chapter 1 funds; and (8) other indicators of risk factors in the target community. Updated information in each of the areas will be requested each year of the 3-year project period.
Assurances From a Local Educational Agency
Because two goals of this program are to improve academic performance and reduce the dropout rate, it is imperative that school-related information on JUMP youth be made available by schools. Therefore, applications must contain a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between a non-LEA applicant and a participating LEA agreeing that schools will provide academic grades, attendance records, information regarding disciplinary actions, and other pertinent data on a quarterly basis for youth being served by JUMP and will otherwise cooperate to the fullest extent possible with a national program evaluator. Such an MOU might also designate a school employee to serve as the school's program coordinator. Responsibilities could include assisting with the selection of mentees, advising on the academic needs of the mentee, coordinating meetings, providing academic records when needed, and notifying mentors when mentees cannot meet because of school or other activities.
Projects should target only at-risk youth. This solicitation uses the term "at-risk youth" to mean a youth who is exposed to high levels of risk in his or her family, home, community, or socialenvironments that may lead to educational failure, dropping out of school, or involvement in juvenile delinquency, including gang-related delinquent activity. Projects should target at-risk youth in high crime areas where 60 percent or more of the youth are eligible to receive Chapter I funds (Free and Reduced Lunch Program) under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and where a considerable number of youth drop out of school each year. Each applicant must submit information to demonstrate whether the target population meets these criteria. If a non-LEA applicant has an existing relationship with an LEA, this must be documented by an MOU between the lead applicant and the LEA specifying that it will provide academic grades, attendance records, information regarding disciplinary actions, and other pertinent data on a quarterly basis for youth being served by JUMP and will cooperate to the fullest extent possible with OJJDP's national program evaluator. Where appropriate, similar MOU's from public agencies, community groups, and businesses that might be directly involved must also be provided.
Program Goal and Objectives
The goal should be an overall statement of purpose concerning what the applicant expects to achieve with the grant. The objectives should be activities that will help the applicant achieve the goal, and they should be stated in clear, measurable terms. Goals and objectives must be stated in a way that allows them to be measured on a yearly basis. Each applicant must submit a plan for tracking and measuring progress. For example, the mentoring project will serve X number of mentees each year, academic performance will be improved by X percent, gang participation will be reduced by X percent, and dropout rates will be reduced by X percent. Applicants are encouraged to be realistic in developing their goals and objectives and specific in addressing the needs of their targeted communities.
Evaluation Methods and Processes
Evaluation is critical to ensuring that the mentoring project is operating as designed and meeting its goals in terms of both the process and the impact on the mentee. The project must collect data on project operations and project effectiveness in reducing juvenile delinquency and gang participation, improving academic performance, and reducing the school dropout rate. OJJDP has funded a national evaluation, and projects funded under JUMP must provide written assurance that they will participate in the national evaluation. Applicants selected for funding under this mentoring program will be provided with an evaluation tool that has been specifically developed for the JUMP program. The JUMP program evaluation tool includes data collection procedures and the national evaluation program requirements.
Additional Application Requirements
Applicants with existing mentoring projects must provide data on the number of youth participating in the ongoing project, the number of new matches proposed, and an outline of the strategy currently being used to recruit, screen, train, and maintain mentors and youth.
Applicants should address how their project either currently complies with the guidelines set forth in this solicitation or will comply with them if funded by this program. Each applicant must demonstrate that it has or will create an infrastructure capable of fully supporting its project.
If the project has been evaluated, results should be reported and a summary of the evaluation provided as an appendix.
Applicants should structure proposals according to the format in the Application Kit.
Each applicant must identify the lead organization's audit period.
Each applicant shall provide a detailed budget worksheet with the budget narrative for each year of the 3-year project period, including the basis for computation of all costs. Whether the primary applicant is a school or an eligible public/private nonprofit group, it is recommended that one full-time staff coordinator oversee the project. In addition, a second individual, either a volunteer or a paid employee, should generally be expected to devote at least 6-7 hours a week to this project. A third individual, whether a part-time volunteer or paid staff person should assist in the evaluation data collection. Allocation of $75 per mentoring match per year to cover incidental expenses for the mentees is also recommended. Program funds cannot be used directly to compensate mentors except for reimbursement for reasonable incidental expenses, such as transportation, that are directly associated with the mentoring program.
Each applicant must provide an Internet address or include a line item in the budget for Internet setup. An Internet address must be available for use no later than 60 days after the award.
There will be two cluster meetings held during the 3-year project period. Applicants shall budget for the costs for the JUMP coordinator and one other key staff person to attend two meetings lasting 3 days each in the first and third project years. These meetings will be held in Washington, D.C., for the purpose of reviewing program implementation, evaluation, and any other related programmatic matters.
If appropriate, applicants should describe what written materials they will produce and how these materials may be useful to their own project participants and others hoping to replicate their efforts.
Applications are invited from LEA's and public/private nonprofit organizations that can demonstrate knowledge of and/or experience with mentoring programs, volunteers, and youth. When an LEA is the primary applicant, it must enter into partnership with a public or private agency or a public/private nonprofit agency. Likewise, a public/private nonprofit agency that applies as a primary applicant must partner with an LEA. National organizations are not eligible for these funds. Grantees that have been awarded JUMP funds previously are not eligible to compete for FY 1998 funding available through this solicitation.
Applicants will be rated by a peer review panel on the extent to which they meet the criteria below.
Problem(s) To Be Addressed (15 points)
The applicant clearly (1) identifies the need for this project, (2) describes the target population, and (3) documents whether it meets the statutory priority for focusing on at-risk youth in high-crime areas where at least 60 percent of youth are eligible for Chapter 1 funds and where a considerable number of youth drop out of school each year.
Goals and Objectives (10 points)
The overall goal for the project is clearly related to the problems of at-risk youth in the targeted community. Objectives are clearly defined, measurable, and obtainable for each year of the project.
Project Design (30 points)
The project design is sound and contains program elements directly linked to the achievement of the project objectives and to the collection of the data for program evaluation. The applicant explains in clear terms how the mentors and mentees will be recruited, screened, trained, and matched to achieve the mentoring program goals and objectives and how other resources and individuals will be used to implement the mentoring project in the community. The applicant includes an MOU between the private nonprofit organization and the LEA. The applicant provides a workplan and milestone chart for each year of the 3-year period with a timeline that indicates the tasks to be completed to meet the objectives; the month in which they will be achieved; staff person or entities responsible for completing each task; anticipated dates for products, if any; and nature of the products.
Management and Organizational Capability (35 points)
The project's management structure and staffing are adequate to complete the project successfully. The applicant demonstrates that the project will be appropriately staffed. Collaborative relationships are established in writing and clearly document the responsibilities of each partner. The applicant organization's capability to conduct the project successfully and its history of working with volunteers and youth are documented.
Budget (10 points)
Applicants must provide a proposed budget and budget narrative that is complete, detailed, reasonable, allowable, and cost effective in relation to the activities proposed to be undertaken.
In addition to the selection criteria listed above, the Administrator may also give consideration to the number of JUMP grantees in a State, geographical distribution (including rural areas), and regional balance when making awards. Consideration will also be given to the population to be served by the program, for example, minority, female, immigrant, abused and neglected, and juvenile court involved juveniles. Peer reviewers' recommendations are advisory only, and finalaward decisions will be made by the Administrator. OJJDP will negotiate the specific terms of the awards.
The narrative must not exceed 25 pages in length (excluding forms, assurances, and appendixes). It must include a table of contents and be submitted on 8½- by 11-inch paper, double spaced on one side of the paper in a standard 12-point font. This is necessary to maintain fair and uniform standards among all applicants. If the narrative does not conform to these standards, OJJDP will deem the application ineligible for consideration.
Grantees selected for awards will be funded for a 3-year budget and project period.
Up to $200,000 is available for each award for a 3-year budget and project period.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number
For this program, the CFDA number, which is required on Standard Form 424, Application for Federal Assistance, is 16.726. This form is included in OJJDP's Application Kit, which can be obtained by calling the Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse at 800-638-8736 or sending an e-mail request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Application Kit is also available online at www.ncjrs.org/ojjhome.htm. (See the Introduction for more contact information.)
Coordination of Federal Efforts
To encourage better coordination among Federal agencies in addressing State and local needs, the U.S. Department of Justice is requesting applicants to provide information on the following: (1) active Federal grant award(s) supporting this or related efforts, including awards from the U.S. Department of Justice; (2) any pending application(s) for Federal funds for this or related efforts; and (3) plans for coordinating any funds described in items (1) or (2) with the funding sought by this application. For each Federal award, applicants must include the program or project title, the Federal grantor agency, the amount of the award, and a brief description of its purpose.
"Related efforts" is defined for these purposes as one of the following:
All application packages should be mailed or delivered to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, c/o Juvenile Justice Resource Center, 2277 Research Boulevard, Mail Stop 2K, Rockville, MD 20850; 301-519-5535. Note: In the lower left-hand corner of the envelope, you must clearly write "Juvenile Mentoring Program."
Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the original and five copies of the application package are received by 5 p.m. ET on July 10, 1998.
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Pittman, K. 1992. Defining the Fourth R: Youth Development Through Building Relationships. Washington, DC: Academy for Educational Development.
Roaf, P.A., Tierney, J.P., and Hunte, D.E.I. 1994 (Fall). Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America: A Study of Volunteer Recruitment and Screening. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.
Styles, M.B., and Morrow, K.V. 1992. Understanding How Youth and Elders Form Relationships: A Study of Four Linking Lifetimes Programs. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.
Tierney, J.P., and Branch, A.Y. 1992. College Students as Mentors for At-Risk Youth: A Study of Six Campus Partners in Learning Programs. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.
Tierney, J.P., Grossman, J.B., and Resch, N.L. 1995 (Fall). Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.