OJJDP Practitioner-Researcher Partnership Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents Demonstration Program
In 2014, OJJDP awarded grants to a practitioner-researcher partnership to develop and evaluate new mentoring practices that serve the needs of youth whose biological parent, legal guardian, or informal primary caregiver is incarcerated in a prison or jail.
The target population includes:
- Children with a parent who is currently incarcerated.
- Children whose parent(s) has been incarcerated at some point during the child's lifetime.
Goals and Objectives:
This project has two components:
- Program Development and Implementation: OJJDP is working with the national organization MANY to support 20 sites as they implement one-on-one and community-based mentoring programs featuring a positive youth development approach focused on children of incarcerated parents and their families. Each program site is implementing the same assets-based mentoring approach to foster and strengthen protective factors in young people's lives and increase positive outcomes. The project is helping participating youth build their confidence in their abilities and interests and strengthen their connections to mentors, parents, family members, other caring adults, youth-serving organizations, peers, and their community.
Project activities fall into three core areas: enhanced staff training and support; enhanced pre-, post-, and ongoing training and support for mentors; and enhanced support for parents and families.
- Evaluation: The Innovation Research & Training are conducting a joint evaluation to assess the impact of enhanced mentoring program practices on the quality and effectiveness of mentoring relationships for children who have an incarcerated caregiver. The project includes a rigorous, random assignment, multi-site evaluation involving data collection from everyone participating in the mentoring relationship, including mentors; mentees; parents, guardians, or caregivers; and program staff members and collection of archival data.