Chapter 1: Major Accomplishments in
1996 and 1997
Safe Kids/Safe Streets Program
It is no secret that children who are abused or neglected often resort to delinquent or violent behavior later in life. Recognizing the importance of breaking this cycle before it begins, OJJDP began a major new community-based initiative in 1996 known as the Safe Kids/Safe Streets Program. Five communities were awarded a total of $2.7 million in 1997 for an initial 18-month budget period to help them improve how their communities respond to abused and neglected children and their families. Each community is working to coordinate the management of abuse and neglect cases by improving the policies and practices of the criminal and juvenile justice, child welfare, family services, and related systems. Each community is also developing comprehensive community-wide, cross-agency strategies and programs to reduce abuse and neglect and the child fatalities that often result.
The five communities receiving OJJDP funds for this program are Huntsville, AL; the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in Michigan; Kansas City, MO; Toledo, OH; and Chittenden County, VT. The large number (178) of applications OJJDP received for these grants indicates that many communities are developing coordinated, multifaceted responses to abuse and neglect. The sites are now revising or finalizing the implementation plans that will guide their efforts over the 51/2-year project period.
In 1997, OJJDP awarded a grant to Westat, Inc., of Rockville, MD, to document and evaluate how communities implement their programs. Westat is assessing such issues as community mobilization, planning, and collaboration, and is considering the feasibility of evaluating the impact of the program.