Mentoring Programs Funded by the Federal Government Dedicated to Disadvantaged Youth: Issues and Activities

Order Code RL32633 CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Mentoring Programs Funded by the Federal Government Dedicated to Disadvantaged Youth: Issues and Activities Updated March 20, 2006 Edith Fairman Cooper Analyst in Social Legislation Domestic Social Policy Division Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress Mentoring Programs Funded by the Federal Government Dedicated to Disadvantaged Youth: Issues and Activities Summary Mentoring is often defined as a relationship maintained between a youth and an adult who supports, guides, and assists the youth. Federal funding for targeted mentoring programs has increased in recent years, and the Bush Administration has indicated that expansion of mentoring services for certain disadvantaged youth is a priority. A 2003 report by the White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth identified and listed about 123 federally funded programs under a mentoring heading. Closer scrutiny of those listed programs, however, revealed that all except three appeared to be programs that were not solely dedicated to mentoring, but actually were projects that had mentoring components, or that would allow funding for mentoring programs, if requested. The federal government appears to fund only three programs in which mentoring is the primary focus — the Department of Education’s (ED’s) school-based mentoring project authorized by the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act; the Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS’s) Mentoring Children of Prisoners (MCP) program authorized by the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Act; and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) juvenile mentoring activities. The school-based mentoring program is designed to serve disadvantaged middle school students. For FY2004, the three-year grant program was appropriated $49.7 million; for FY2005, $49.3 million; and $48.8 million for FY2006. The President has requested $19 million for the program for FY2007. MCP is designed to nurture children in the nation with one or both parents incarcerated. In FY2004, $49.7 million was appropriated for the program; for FY2005, $49.6 million; and for FY2006, $49.5 million. The President has requested $40 million for MCP for FY2007. From FY1994 to FY2003, DOJ authorized and funded the Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP) as Part G of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA, P.L. 93-415, as amended) to provide one-to-one adult mentoring of at-risk youth. In FY2002, JJDPA was reauthorized, eliminating JUMP and folding mentoring efforts into a Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Block Grant (JDPBG) program as Part C of JJDPA. Although Part G was repealed in FY2002, Congress has continued appropriating Part G funding for DOJ mentoring projects, including $9.87 million for FY2006. In FY2005, OJJDP proposed a new mentoring project, “The Mentoring for System Involved Youth Initiative,” to expand existing mentoring plans/projects designed to help youth involved in the juvenile justice system, and those in foster care. The President has not requested FY2007 funding for mentoring under Part G, but has requested $33.4 million for Part C, JDPBG, out of which mentoring can be funded, and $6.54 million for mentoring demonstration projects. Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 The White House Task Force Final Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 The Federal Government’s Primary Youth Mentoring Programs . . . . . . . . . 4 The Department of Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 School-Based Mentoring Programs for At-Risk Youth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Program Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Program Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Appropriations and Funding History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Department of Health and Human Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Program Issues and Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Appropriations and Funding History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Department of Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Mentoring Initiative for System Involved Youth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Barriers and Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 JUMP Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Appropriations and Funding History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Mentoring Funding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Mentoring Legislation in the 109th Congress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Concluding Observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 List of Tables Table 1. ED Mentoring Program Funding, FY2004 to FY2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Table 2. Mentoring Children of Prisoners Appropriations, FY2003 to FY2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Table 3. JUMP — Appropriations History, FY1995 to FY2003 . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Mentoring Programs Funded by the Federal Government Dedicated to Disadvantaged Youth: Issues and Activities Introduction Mentoring is often defined as a relationship maintained between a youth and an adult who supports, guides, and assists the youth.1 The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found through program evaluations that mentoring can be a promising approach to enriching the lives of disadvantaged children and youth by discouraging juvenile delinquency, improving school attendance and performance, and by providing positive adult role models.2 The origin of the mentoring concept has been credited to Ernest K. Coulter, who in 1904 created a movement that was called “big brothers,” which comprised adult volunteers who reached out to assist and connect with needy children. The work of those volunteers led to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America (BBBS) program that continues 100 years later — the oldest and largest mentoring organization in the nation. DOJ notes that BBBS has served over 275,000 youth ages 5 to 18 in 5,000 communities.3 Federal funding for targeted mentoring programs has increased in recent years, and the Bush Administration has indicated that expansion of mentoring services for certain disadvantaged youth is a priority. The White House Task Force Final Report The White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth: Final Report, released in October 2003, identified and listed about 123 federally funded programs with a mentoring component,4 and in an Appendix E (Federal Youth-serving Programs with Type of Service Funded, FY2003) enumerated 10 federal agencies that administered these programs. Those agencies were the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, 1 U.S. General Accounting Office, Student Mentoring Programs: Education’s Monitoring and Information Sharing Could Be Improved, GAO Report GAO-04-581 (Washington, June 2004), p. 6. Since this report was issued, the name of the General Accounting Office was changed to the Government Accountability Office. 2 Jean Baldwin Grossman and Eileen M. Garry, “Mentoring — A Proven Delinquency Prevention Strategy,” Juvenile Justice Bulletin, NCJ 164834 (Washington, Apr. 1997), p. 1. 3 “OJJDP Helps Big Brothers Big Sisters Celebrate 100th Anniversary,” OJJDP News @ a Glance, vol. 3, no. 3, May/June 2004, p. 1 (Hereafter cited as OJJDP News @ a Glance). 4 White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth: Final Report, Oct. 2003, Appendix E: Federal Youth-serving Programs with Type of Service Funded, FY2003, pp. 165-179, at [http://www.ncfy.com/whreport.htm]. CRS-2 Justice, Labor, Transportation, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The Task Force’s report noted that “mentoring is the 8th most frequent activity identified among the 41 types of activity identified in the 339 Federal programs that serve youth.”5 Also, the Task Force observed that many of the agencies were often unaware of the mentoring activities occurring in their agency or by other agencies, which many times resulted in duplication of efforts. Furthermore, this lack of awareness resulted in little coordination or collaboration among the various agencies, as well as the absence of a single agency with the responsibility to cultivate and advance “the expertise and knowledge of ‘best practices’ with regard to mentoring.”6 On May 20, 2004, the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight held a hearing titled Redundancy and Duplication in Federal Child Welfare Programs: A Case Study in Executive Branch Reorganization. The concern of the congressional hearing was that federal funds were being spent on duplicative programs. In testimony at the hearing, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay stated that, “... a White House report on disadvantaged youth shows that 339 federal programs are specifically charged with helping children in one way or another, and 13 federal agencies administer more than 120 different programs that provide for mentoring alone.”7 Closer scrutiny of the Task Force’s listed programs, however, revealed that all but three of the programs appeared to be projects that were not solely dedicated to mentoring, but actually were programs that had mentoring components, or that would allow funding for mentoring programs, if requested.8 As an example of a federal program that included mentoring activities as a part of its efforts, the Task Force report briefly discussed the Youth ChalleNGe program administered by the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Army National Guard. This program assists 16- to 18-year-old school dropouts with enhancing their life skills, educational attainments, and employment potential through quasi-military training. After participants experienced five months of a “residential phase,” one year of mentoring was provided with a trained mentor from the youth’s community.9 The Task Force report mentioned that the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Job Corps program was similar to the Youth ChalleNGe program. 5 White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth: Final Report, p. 40. 6 Ibid. 7 Redundancy and Duplication in Federal Child Welfare Programs: A Case Study in Executive Branch Reorganization, Hearing before the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, May 20, 2004, p. 2, at [http://reform.house.gov/UploadedFiles/ DeLay%20Exec%20Reorg%20Testimony.pdf], visited Oct. 13, 2004. 8 The author corroborated this assessment of the 123 listed mentoring activities in the White House Task Force’s final report through telephone discussions with spokesmen at the Department of Health and Human Service’s Family and Youth Services Bureau on Mar. 31, 2004, DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs and its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention on Apr. 9, 2004 and May 20, 2004, respectively, and with the National Mentoring Center at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory on June 25, 2004. 9 White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth: Final Report, p. 5. CRS-3 DOL’s Job Corps program is a national predominately residential educational and vocational training program for at-risk 16- to 24-year-olds that assists such youth with finding jobs and becoming independent adults.10 Mentoring initiatives are included in various areas of the Job Corps program. Because of program similarities, the Task Force recommended that DOD work with DOL to better align the Youth ChalleNGe program with other DOL-sponsored youth programs such as Job Corps. Because DOL has over 30 years of experience with employment and training programs — in particular the nation’s One-Stop Career Center system, created through the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (which provides jobs and training services to both youth and adults) — the Task Force suggested that Youth ChalleNGe might be aligned with and enhanced by DOL’s strategic goals of a prepared and a competitive workforce.11 The Task Force also recommended that a Federal Interagency Workgroup on Mentoring (FIWM) be created “to engage in a variety of activities ... that would aid the coordination and collaboration of all mentoring programs and activities supported by Federal agencies.”12 Another suggestion was that the FIWM could expand the federal mentoring program effort by targeting special groups, such as youth in foster care and migrant youth. In particular, the report mentioned the possibility of mentors assisting foster care youth at two developmental points — (1) at ages 5 to 17 years when first entering the child welfare system when a mentor could serve in a big brother/big sister role, and (2) at age 18 when youth age out of the system and need some support to transition into independent adulthood. Furthermore, a migrant youth who comes into the nation from Mexico at the age of 13 and becomes a farm worker without family support could receive adult guidance provided by a mentor to assist the youth in seeking a better life and avoiding risky behaviors. A migrant youth who enters the nation with a family might benefit from an adult mentor to help the youth reach important educational goals and profitable career paths.13 The Task Force stated that the President indicated his commitment to mentoring in his 2003 State of the Union address when he announced a three-year mentoring initiative. The Task Force report points out that the President proposed placing mentors in the lives of over one million disadvantaged children who are shifting from childhood to adolescence. His mentoring initiative has two components — (1) seeking to link mentors with children under 18 years of age who have an incarcerated parent; and (2) providing mentors for middle school youth to help improve their academic performances. Those components comprise what appears to be two of three federal government programs in which mentoring is the primary focus. The first such program is the school-based mentoring project that is sponsored by the Department of Education (ED) for disadvantaged middle school students. The second effort is the Mentoring Children of Prisoners (MCP) program that is managed 10 U. S. Dept. of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, “What is Job Corps?” at [http://jobcorps.doleta.gov/about.cfm], visited Sept. 30, 2004; and “Mission Statement,” at [http://jobcorps.doleta.gov/mission.cfm], visited Sept. 30, 2004. 11 White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth: Final Report, pp. 34-36. 12 Ibid., p. 5. 13 Ibid., pp. 119-120. CRS-4 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The third is the Mentoring for System Involved Youth Initiative (MISIY) that will replace the repealed Juvenile Mentoring Program (discussed below). In addition to funding those three mentoring programs, the federal government also provides earmarked funds for at least 25 primary mentoring efforts throughout the nation that are supported by ED, HHS, and DOJ. Such programs include the Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia, PA, Big Brothers/Big Sisters14 of Greater Pittsburgh, PA, Mentoring Program for Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in Portland, OR, and several others. The Federal Government’s Primary Youth Mentoring Programs On January 30, 2003, President Bush proposed $450 million for a three-year program initiative to continue and enhance two federal youth mentoring programs. He suggested $100 million each year (totaling $300 million over three years) to develop, expand, and strengthen ED’s mentoring program, and $50 million for each year (totaling $150 million over three years) to focus primarily on assisting more than 100,000 adolescent children of prisoners through HHS’s Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program. The President’s funding proposals covered fiscal years 2004 through 2006. Funding for each program is discussed below. In 1992, the Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP) was established as DOJ’s primary mentoring project to provide one-on-one adult mentoring for at-risk youth, administered through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Initial funding for the program began in FY1994. In 2002, however, categorical federal funding for JUMP was eliminated by the reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA, P.L. 107-273, amended). Under the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-273), Part G (JUMP) was repealed. Mentoring program activities were folded into the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Block Grant (JDPBG) program. In FY2003, DOJ funded 32 grants for the last JUMP activity.15 Although JUMP was repealed, the Administration expected similar mentoring efforts to be continued through JDPBG. Despite the Administration’s recommendation of continued funding for mentoring efforts by way of JDPBG, Congress did not appropriate funding for the block grant. For FY2005 and FY2006, however, Congress appropriated funding under the defunct Part G. A new mentoring initiative (MISIY) has been launched, which, along with program funding, is discussed below. 14 Since 1998, DOJ has allotted over $23 million in earmarked funding through OJJDP to the BBBS organization. This funding assistance helps over 200 BBBS local affiliates provide training, technical assistance, and other support. “OJJDP Helps Big Brothers Big Sisters Celebrate 100th Anniversary,” OJJDP News @ a Glance, p. 1. 15 “Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP) Grant Awardees — FY2003,” at [http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org/JUMP/ 03grantees.html]. CRS-5 Some of the major common issues of mentoring programs include maintaining and expanding programs, recruiting volunteers, maintaining funding, and developing a system to continually assess programs.16 This report discusses the primary federal mentoring programs for disadvantaged youth that are funded by ED, HHS, and DOJ. Under each agency, the authorization and the appropriations for the program are provided, and the program’s purpose, how it works, its issues and activities, and its evaluation information, if available, are discussed. The Department of Education In 1994, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was reauthorized and amended creating the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA). In 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) reauthorized and amended ESEA and SDFSCA as Part A of Title IV — 21st Century Schools (20 U.S. C. 7101). ED administers SDFSCA through the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities program, which is the federal government’s major initiative to prevent drug abuse and violence in and around schools. The program is administered through the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS). Grants are authorized for state programs, and for a variety of national programs, to promote school safety and assist in preventing drug abuse in the nation’s schools. Under SDFSCA’s National Programs component, funding is authorized for various projects to foster safe and drug-free school environments for students, and to assist at-risk youth. School-based mentoring programs are projects designed to assist at-risk youth that were initiated as a new specific activity under NCLBA. School-Based Mentoring Programs for At-Risk Youth Under SDFSCA, the purpose of ED’s mentoring programs is to create and support mentoring projects and activities to improve the academic achievement of children with greatest need in middle schools. The statute indicates that when awarding grants to eligible groups, the ED Secretary must consider among other things, the quality of the proposed mentoring program, including the degree in which the program will serve children in grades four through eight, and the degree in which the program will continue to serve children from grades nine through graduation, if necessary.17 The mandate defines a child with greatest need as “a child who is at risk of educational failure, dropping out of school, or involvement in criminal or delinquent activities, or who lacks strong positive role models.” A mentor is defined as “a responsible adult, a postsecondary school student, or a secondary school student 16 Contemporary Issues in Mentoring, edited by Jean Baldwin Grossman, June 1999, Public/Private Ventures Publication, Philadelphia, PA, p. 85, at [http://www.ppv.org/ ppv/publications/assets/37_publication.pdf], visited Mar. 31, 2004. 17 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended, Title IV, Part A, Safe and DrugFree Schools and Communities Act, Subpart 2, National Programs, Mentoring Programs, Section 4130(b)(5)(C)(ii)(IV)(V). CRS-6 who works with a child.”18 Mentors would assist such students in successfully making the transition from elementary to secondary school. Under SDFSCA, the Secretary of Education is authorized to award competitive grants to eligible entities, that is, local educational agencies (LEAs), non-profit community-based organizations (CBOs) (which may include faith-based groups), and to partnerships between LEAs and CBOs to conduct such mentoring programs. Three-year grants awarded to eligible entities are designed to link children with greatest need (particularly those who live in rural areas, high-crime areas, stressful home environments, or children experiencing educational failures), with trained mentors. Such mentors are screened through appropriate reference checks, child and domestic abuse record checks, and criminal background checks. They must be deemed to be interested in working with such children. When awarding grants, priority must be given to eligible entities that provide adequate service for children with greatest need who live in rural or high-crime areas, reside in troubled homes, or attend schools with violence problems. Also, priority is given to entities that provide high-quality background screening and training of mentors, provide technical assistance in administering mentoring programs, or to those that propose a schoolbased mentoring program.19 Mentors are expected to achieve one or more of several goals with the children. These include: ! ! ! ! ! ! providing general guidance; promoting growth in personal and social responsibilities; enhancing participation in and abilities to profit from school; discouraging illegal use of drugs and alcohol, violent behavior, use of dangerous weapons, promiscuous behavior, and other criminal, harmful, or potentially harmful behavior; discouraging involvement in gang activities; and encouraging youth to set goals and make plans for the future.20 In addition to those ESEA requirements, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) notes in its report, Student Mentoring Programs: Education’s Monitoring and Information Sharing Could Be Improved, that ED challenges applicants to meet goals that are not specified in the ESEA, as amended. Those requirements include outlining how grantees intend “to achieve performance goals, such as improved academic achievement among participating children, or reduced incidences of involvement in gangs, illegal drugs, and alcohol.”21 An April 2000 document of a conference held by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), a component of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) within HHS, reports that school-based 18 Ibid., Section 4130(2)(B)(C). 19 Ibid., Section 4130(b)(5). 20 Ibid., Section 4130(b). 21 GAO, Student Mentoring Programs, p. 8. CRS-7 mentoring programs have an advantage over other mentoring programs22 because of a readily available group of youth. Also, CSAP suggests that such school-based programs are advantageous, because the typical adult mentor volunteer can be recruited, along with adults who are busier than the typical volunteers, as well as younger high school or college-age student volunteers.23 Another source notes that primarily school-based efforts appear to provide an advantage for such mentors logistically. Since school-based mentoring occurs on school grounds in a supervised setting and youth attendance hopefully is consistent, meeting times do not have to be coordinated and negotiated with parents, and even the busiest volunteer can meet regularly at a pre-arranged time with their charge at school. In addition, school personnel familiar with the students’ lives and situations usually can assist with easing the process of developing relationships among mentors and youth.24 Usually, a mentor is matched with a student for an entire school year, and mentoring activities are scheduled by the student’s teacher or guidance counselor.25 Most school-based mentoring programs focus on improving grades, but also might help to improve the attitudes of students by increasing their confidence and sense of achievement. A change in attitude also might be beneficial to resolving problem areas in a student’s life, such as helping to prevent substance abuse.26 GAO has found that successful student mentoring programs are carefully planned by grantees who make decisions regarding the number of youth they can realistically serve, the kinds of services they will offer, and the expected outcomes. Such grantees develop policies and procedures for screening and training mentors to ensure their commitment to mentoring and that they understand the needs of the youth. Successful grantees also create ways to collect data for monitoring and assessing the programs. Furthermore, GAO noted that grantees who administer successful student mentoring programs have strategies in place that will sustain the programs, retain current funding support, and assist in acquiring new financial 22 CSAP reports that other types of youth mentoring programs include formal mentoring, which is relatively structured and involves long-term relationships between a mentor and youth; informal mentoring programs, which have no minimum time requirements, nor involve frequent or regular contact between a mentor and youth; and community-based mentoring programs that can be run by nonprofit groups, churches, or public social service agencies. This type program provides a broader range of mentoring options, such as working with youth at various levels and including various activities like attending movies, going to the mall, or to the park. 23 “Mentoring Initiatives: An Overview of Youth Mentoring,” A Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Conference and Meeting Document, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Apr. 2000, p. 7. 24 Jennifer G. Roffman, Jean E. Rhodes, and Jean B. Grossman, “NAESP: An Overview of School-Based Mentoring,” Middle Matters, Fall 2002, p. 3, at [http://www.naesp.org/ ContentLoad.do?contentId=529], visited May 21, 2004. 25 Ibid., p. 3. 26 “Mentoring Initiatives: An Overview of Youth Mentoring,” p. 7. CRS-8 backing. In addition, such grantees make sure that outcomes are evaluated and findings are widely broadcast.27 Program Issues As previously stated, some of the major common mentoring program issues include maintaining and expanding programs, recruiting volunteers, maintaining funding, and developing a system to continually assess programs. In examining ED’s school mentoring program, GAO found that as far as maintaining and expanding programs were concerned, the majority of ED’s student mentoring grantees visited had five or more years of experience in mentoring youth. Also, they shared other characteristics, such as having similar program goals and providing “one-to-one” mentoring. They differed, however, in program design regarding the number and characteristics of at-risk youth to be served, how much funding was available to them, and which specific type of at-risk youths they planned to serve. Regarding program implementation (that is, recruiting volunteers), GAO found that grantees experienced difficulties recruiting mentors. The problem appeared to be a greater challenge for newer grantees than among established grantees. The established grantees indicated that they also had experienced difficulties in recruiting mentors when they initiated their mentoring programs, but subsequently refined their programs over the early years and had better success. Additionally, the newer grantees stated that they benefitted from learning about implementation strategies from more experienced mentoring program groups. Funding issues involving how grantees handled mentoring grants could not be assessed because the mentoring program was relatively new. Instead, GAO researchers tried to determine whether those same grantees had experienced problems in handling other ED grant funds received before or near the time that they received mentoring program funds. How well the new grantees handled previous funds, GAO theorized, might suggest how the mentoring funds would be managed. After reviewing all 121 mentoring grantees who had 2001 or 2002 audits, GAO found that 8% had audits indicating problems with cash management and procurement issues.28 Program Evaluation According to one source, to determine whether a mentoring program is working or not, measurement should be made of changes in specific outcomes, such as changes in meaningful relationships of participants and in characteristics of participating youth.29 In order to receive funding for ED’s mentoring program, applicants must include in their applications assurances that they will “establish clear, measurable performance goals; and collect and report to the Department data related to the established Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) performance 27 GAO, Student Mentoring Programs, pp. 3-4. 28 Ibid., pp. 4-5. 29 Contemporary Issues in Mentoring, p. 7. CRS-9 measures for the Mentoring Programs grant competition.”30 According to GAO, the Department of Education does not currently plan to assess the mentoring program’s outcomes or effectiveness, but is discussing the possibility of doing so. ED requires individual grantees to provide final evaluation reports at the end of their three-year grant period. While ED’s evaluation plans were undefined, more established grantees planned to use student data regarding grades and attendance for reporting student outcomes. Newer grantees planned to use self-reported data, such as teacher surveys, to measure outcomes.31 GAO stated that grantees were regularly monitored by ED officials who contacted them by telephone, examined their performance reports, visited a few of them annually, and monitored the amount of funds grantees spent. During one such observation, ED officials discovered that a grantee spent mentoring program funds before the program was operational. Consequently, that grantee voluntarily gave up its mentoring grant. Furthermore, GAO found that the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, which is responsible for monitoring mentoring grants, did not review grantees’ single audit reports as required. ED’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer reviewed these reports, but did not share its findings with OSDFS because none of the findings related to mentoring grants. To improve the mentoring program and to provide fundamental information about the operations and outcomes of the program, GAO recommended that ED “explore ways to facilitate the sharing of successful practices and lessons learned, ensure that the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools use grantees’ single audit reports, and undertake a national study of its mentoring program’s outcomes.”32 Appropriations and Funding History In FY2002, the first year of the ED mentoring program, the agency awarded 117 three-year grants to recipients that included LEAs and CBOs. In FY2003, those grants were continued with no new grants awarded. In FY2004, 165 new mentoring grants were awarded.33 As shown below, the President requested $100 million for the mentoring program in FY2005, which would have been more than a six-fold increase over the amount appropriated for FY2003. For FY2005, Congress appropriated, however, $49.307 million for the mentoring program ($0.398 million less than the FY2004 appropriation).34 In FY2005, 90 new mentoring grants were awarded. For FY2006, the President requested $49.3 million for the program (the same as the FY2005 30 GAO, Student Mentoring Programs, p. 4. 31 Ibid., p. 5. 32 Ibid., pp. 4-5. 33 U.S. Dept. of Education, “Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities: National Programs, Fiscal Year 2006 Justifications of Appropriation Estimates to Congress, vol. 1, p. F-30. 34 This figure reflects the 0.80% across-the-board reduction through the FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P. L. 108-447). CRS-10 appropriation), to fund 265 continuation awards.35 Congress appropriated $49.3 million, the exact amount of the President’s request for such funding. A required 1% across-the-board discretionary FY2006 budget reduction, however, slightly lowered mentoring funding to $48.813 million. For FY2007, the President has requested $19 million for the program to pay continuation costs for mentoring grants awarded in 2005 and 2006, and for supporting related technical assistance. Also, $1 million of the funds would be used for continuing national evaluations of those projects. As stated previously, the Administration believes that by the end of FY2007, the mentoring program will have met its objectives. Therefore, FY2007 is the final year of a two-year proposed phase-out of the mentoring program.36 Table 1. ED Mentoring Program Funding, FY2004 to FY2007 ($ in thousands) FY2004 FY2005 FY2006 FY2007 Pres. Budget Request $49,705 $49,219a $48,814b $19,000 Source: Department of Education Fiscal Year 2006 Congressional Action, Nov.1, 2005, p. 7, and Department of Education Fiscal Year 2007 President’s Budget, Feb. 6, 2006, p. 7. a. This figure reflects a reprogramming of $1,088,000 from the Mentoring Program to other National Programs. b. Reflects a 1% across-the-board rescission required by P. L. 109-148. Department of Health and Human Services According to HHS, research data reveals that between 1991 and 1999, the number of children and youth in the nation who had at least one parent who was incarcerated in a federal or state correctional facility increased from about 900,000 to 2 million.37 Furthermore, 7% of African American children have an incarcerated parent, nearly 3% of Hispanic children have an incarcerated parent, while less than 1% of white children have a parent in prison. Research has determined that the longterm physical absence of a parent has a deep impact upon children who have an incarcerated parent. Many times such children experience stress, trauma, shame, and 35 U.S. Dept. of Education, “Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities: National Programs, Fiscal Year 2006 Justifications of Appropriation Estimates to Congress, Vol. 1, p. F-30. 36 U.S. Dept. of Education, “Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Summary,” Feb. 6, 2006, p. 25, at [http://www.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget07/summary/edlite-section2a.html], and U.S. Dept. of Education, “Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities: National Programs, Fiscal Year 2007 Justifications of Appropriation Estimates to Congress, Vol. 1, p. F-23. 37 U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, “Mentoring Children of Prisoners,” Competitive GrantInitial Announcement, p. 3, at [http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/pdf/ACYF_FYSB_ Mentoring_Revised_1_28.pdf], visited Apr. 13, 2004. CRS-11 other problems because their parent is incarcerated. Also, according to HHS, children whose parent was in prison were more likely to exhibit a broad array of behavioral, emotional, health, and educational problems. Such children were more likely to lash out in anger at others, which led to confrontations with law enforcement. HHS stated that those children were seven times more likely to become involved in the juvenile justice and adult criminal systems.38 HHS reported that mentoring such children was a “potent force for improving youth outcomes.” Specifically, HHS noted that mentoring increased the likelihood of regular school attendance and academic achievement, and decreased the chances that such children would engage in self-destructive or violent behavior. Furthermore, HHS stated that “a trusting relationship with a caring adult will provide stability and often have a profound, life-changing effect on the child. Mentoring provides the incarcerated parent with the assurance that somebody is there to look after the best interests of their child.”39 Congress created the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program in order to provide 100,000 new mentors to children and youth of imprisoned parents.40 The program is discussed below. Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program The Mentoring Children of Prisoners program, which is administered through HHS’s Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) within the Administration of Children and Families (ACF), is authorized by the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Act of 2001 (SSFA, P.L. 107-133), as Section 439 of the Social Security Act. The purpose of MCP is to provide competitive grants to applicants in urban, suburban, and rural areas, or tribal populations with significant numbers of children who have one or both parents incarcerated. The grants are to be used for creating and operating mentoring programs through a network of public and private entities to serve such children.41 In FY2003, FYSB began approving grant applications from communities, faith-based groups, and state and local governments to operate mentoring activities through MCP. Under this program, mentoring is defined as “a structured, managed program in which children are appropriately matched with screened and trained adult volunteers for one-on-one relationships, involving meetings and activities on a regular basis, intended to meet, in part, the child’s need for involvement with a caring and 38 Ibid. 39 Ibid., p. 4. 40 U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, Grant Programs — “Mentoring Children of Prisoners Programs,” at [http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/fysb/mcp.htm], visited July 9, 2004. 41 U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, “Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program,” at [http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fbci/ progs/fbci_mcp.html], visited July 13, 2004. CRS-12 supportive adult who provides a positive role model.”42 Mentors cannot be paid for their participation, except for reimbursement for incidental expenses, such as mileage, food, and other such activities related to mentoring. Any requests for such compensations are considered on a case-by-case basis.43 Children must be 4 to 15 years old when they begin receiving MCP program services.44 Eligible applicants include any state or local government unit, federally recognized American tribal governments, Native American tribal groups (other than federally recognized tribal governments), private nonprofit organizations, plus community and faith-based groups. Grant recipients can recruit mentors from a variety of places, including the child’s family and community, church congregations, religious non-profit groups, community-based groups, service organizations, Senior Corps, and from the business community.45 Grantees must find mentors who can commit at least one hour per week for one year to spend with their assigned child; conduct extensive screening of mentors by providing suitable reference and criminal background checks, plus child and domestic abuse records checks to ensure the child’s safety; train mentors by requiring them to attend an orientation and training session in mentoring skills and in the practice of mentoring before being assigned to a young person; provide continuing monitoring of mentors through ongoing support and oversight to ensure that mentees are benefitting from the mentor match; and evaluate mentoring outcomes by measuring such factors as the youth’s academic achievements and escape from risky and unacceptable behaviors.46 MCP projects must cultivate the components of positive youth development by providing youth with “safe and trusting relationships; healthy messages about life and social behavior; guidance from a positive adult role model; increased and enhanced participation in education for positive outcomes”; and by encouraging youth to take part in civic service and community activities.47 Furthermore, MCP projects should “coordinate with partnering groups to develop a plan for the whole family.” This effort could be accomplished by getting the youth connected with the incarcerated parent with the permission of the other parent or guardian; coordinating services that support the youth’s siblings and other family members; and supporting caregivers by providing training and assistance with using the services provided through the mentoring network.48 42 Social Security Act, as amended, Section 439(b)(2). 43 Discussed in a telephone conversation with a spokesman in HHS’s Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Legislative Affairs, Sept. 7, 2004. 44 “Mentoring Children of Prisoners,” Competitive Grant-Initial Announcement, p. 6. 45 Ibid., p. 4. 46 Grant Programs — “Mentoring Children of Prisoners,” p. 2. 47 “Mentoring Children of Prisoners,” Competitive Grant — Initial Announcement, p. 8. 48 Ibid., p. 8. CRS-13 Program Issues and Evaluation The MCP program began functioning on September 30, 2003. The mandate required the HHS Secretary to conduct an evaluation of the program and submit its findings to Congress no later than April 15, 2005.49 According to a HHS spokesman, the required evaluation report is forthcoming. Data collection for the evaluation began during the second year of the program. Grantees provided reports for the first two quarters of operation. Updated information since the first two quarters of MCP’s operation was provided by grantees, and is being included in the required evaluation report that will be submitted to Congress.50 At the time of this writing, the report is being updated to reflect the more timely data.51 In the early stages of the program, HHS observed that three type of grantees were being funded — (1) new grantee groups that were in start-up mode, that is, in the planning and organizing stages; (2) grantees that were just beginning to serve youth with mentors; and (3) grantees with viable programs that began serving youth with mentors right away. Some general trends regarding the first two quarters of operation indicated that about 1,300 youth were being served nationwide, with a comparable number of mentors, although some mentors were serving more than one youth.52 Also, according to Harry Wilson, the Associate Commissioner of FYSB, grantees experienced more problems than expected with recruiting and retaining program volunteers. Volunteers often encountered challenges in dealing with the children, who in many cases had attachment disorders, as well as with their caregivers who experienced stress in part because of the incarceration of the spouse. Surprisingly, however, grantees reported few problems with the attitudes of the inmates regarding their children’s participation in the program. Wilson explained that the main difficulty expected was that incarcerated parents might resent or be hostile toward the volunteer mentors. So far, however, this concern has not become an issue. Parents he spoke with who had recently been released from prison had very positive attitudes and were grateful that their children had access to the program. Also, they often wanted the mentor to continue the relationship.53 49 Social Security Act, as amended, Section 439(g). 50 Discussed in a telephone conversation with a spokesman in ACF’s Office of Legislative Affairs and Budget, April 12, 2005. 51 Discussed in a telephone conversation with a spokesman in ACF’s Family and Youth Services Bureau, March 15, 2006. 52 Information provided and discussed in a telephone conversation with a spokesman in ACF’s Office of Legislative Affairs and Budget, Sept. 8, 2004. 53 “‘Mentoring Children of Prisoners’ Gears Up for Its Second Full Year,” Child Protection Report, Aug. 26, 2004, pp. 131-132. CRS-14 Appropriations and Funding History As previously stated, MCP awards are made for a three-year funding period. Funds awarded for the second and third years, however, depend on the grantees’ performance during the first year of the award and the availability of funds. In FY2003, the first year for MCP grant awards, 52 mentoring program grants totaling $9.93 million were awarded to urban, suburban, rural, and tribal grantees. For FY2004, Congress appropriated $49.7 million for the program. HHS reported in August 2004, that 169 new MCP grants had been awarded and funding was provided to continue FY2003 grants, for a total of $45.6 million.54 Louisiana’s Volunteers of America, Florida’s Anchorage Children’s Home, and Michigan’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters groups were some of the 164 recipients selected by HHS’s Administration for Children and Families to receive new MCP grant awards totaling $35 million. In addition, five tribal grantees would receive new awards totaling $1.7 million for MCP projects, and $8.9 million would be awarded to continue the second year of 52 mentoring programs.55 For FY2005, Congress appropriated $49.6 million for MCP, and for FY2006, $49.5 million. There were no new grants awarded in FY2005, but an estimated 47 new grants will be awarded in FY2006, and approximately 138 awards are anticipated for FY2007.56 The President has requested $40 million for MCP grants for FY2007. There is a 75% federal share for MCP grants for the first and second fiscal years of the program, and a 50% federal share for the third year. Grantees must provide at least a 25% non-federal share or match of the total project budget for the first two fiscal years, and at least 50% for the third year. The non-federal share of the project costs may be in cash or in kind, but applicants are encouraged to provide cash contributions.57 Table 2 shows an appropriations history for MCP. 54 “President Announces Mentoring Grants for Children of Prisoners: $46 Million for Program of Compassion,” HHS Release, Aug. 3, 2004. 55 Ibid. 56 Information received in an email from a HHS spokesman in ACF’s Office of Legislative Affairs and Budget, Division of Budget, March 16, 2006. 57 “Mentoring Children of Prisoners,” Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, pp. 12781279, para. 93.616, at [http://12.46.245.173/CFDA/pdf/catalog.pdf]. CRS-15 Table 2. Mentoring Children of Prisoners Appropriations, FY2003 to FY2007 ($ in millions) FY2003 FY2004 FY2005 FY2006 FY2007 Pres. Budget Req. $9.93 $49.7 $49.6a $49.5b $40.0 Source: HHS, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Legislative Affairs and Budget, April 1, 2005, and HHS, ACF, Fiscal Year 2007 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees, p. D-57. a. This figure reflects the 0.80% across-the-board reduction through the FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act. b. Reflects a 1% across-the-board rescission required by P. L. 109-148. Department of Justice Congress authorized the Juvenile Mentoring Program until FY2003, as previously stated. Through the reauthorization of JJDPA, under the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act of 2002, Congress consolidated seven previously independent DOJ programs into one prevention block grant.58 This action, which was effective in October 2003, incorporated JUMP’s mentoring program function into the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Block Grant (Part C), a state formula program.59 To date, Congress has not appropriated funding for JDPBG, but has continued to provide funding for mentoring under the defunct Part G of JJDPA, even though the Administration has requested no further funding under this authority. Although JUMP was repealed, the Administration expected similar mentoring efforts to be continued through the block grant.60 The new OJJDP mentoring activity, entitled the Mentoring Initiative for System Involved Youth, and JUMP, is discussed below. Mentoring Initiative for System Involved Youth For FY2005, OJJDP proposed a new juvenile mentoring project, the Mentoring Initiative for System Involved Youth, that would provide funds to faith- and community-based nonprofit and for-profit agencies to expand and improve existing mentoring plans/projects designed to help youth involved in the juvenile justice system, reentry youth, and those in foster care. Competitive grants of up to $400,000 58 See CRS Report RS22070, Juvenile Justice: Overview of Legislative History and Funding Trends. 59 “Juvenile Mentoring Program: Legislation,” at [http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org/jump/ leg.html]. 60 Discussed in a telephone conversation with a spokesman in DOJ’s Office of Justice Program’s Congressional Affairs Office, March 14, 2006. CRS-16 each year for four years will be awarded to four sites. The initiative seeks to encourage community organizations and agencies that are committed to backing mentoring services for such youth. The goal of the program is to locate effective mentoring programs and find out which ones could be enhanced and enlarged to use with system involved teens.61 The OJJDP deadline for MISIY grant applications is April 17, 2006. Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP) In the 1992 reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, Congress added Part G — Mentoring, and created the Juvenile Mentoring Program. JUMP was administered through OJJDP, a component of the Office of Justice Programs within DOJ. By providing mentors for at-risk children and youth from ages five to 20, the program’s objectives were to reduce juvenile delinquent behavior including substance abuse and gang involvement; improve scholastic performance; and reduce the likelihood that such youth would drop out of school. JUMP defined a mentor as “an adult, 18 years or older, who works with an at-risk youth on a one-to-one basis, establishes a supportive relationship with the youth and provides the youth with academic assistance and exposure to new experiences which enhance the youth’s ability to become a responsible citizen.”62 Mentors could not be compensated, except for reimbursement for incidental expenses, and they had to pass a criminal background check. JJDPA authorized the OJJDP Administrator to make grants to and enter into contracts with LEAs that were in partnership and collaborating with public/private nonprofit agencies, institutions, or businesses, and to create and support programs and activities that implemented mentoring programs.63 Such programs were to be designed to link at-risk children, especially those living in high crime areas and experiencing educational failures, with responsible adults (such as law enforcement officers, fire department personnel, college students, senior citizens, federal employees, persons working with local businesses, persons working for communitybased groups and agencies, as well as other private citizens). Therefore, it was not uncommon for JUMP funds to be used for school-based mentoring programs by an established mentoring agency that had provided community-based mentoring projects 61 U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “Mentoring Initiative for System Involved Youth,” at [http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/grants/solicitations/06mentoringinitiative.pdf]. 62 Jean Baldwin Grossman and Eileen M. Garry, “Mentoring — A Proven Delinquency Prevention Strategy,” Juvenile Justice Bulletin, Apr. 1997, p. 2. 63 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities, Compilation of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 and Related Provisions of Law, as Amended through Dec. 31, 1994, committee print, 104th Cong., 1st sess. (Washington, GPO, 1995), 49. CRS-17 for a number of years.64 JUMP was to accomplish one or more of the following goals: ! ! ! ! ! ! providing basic guidance to at-risk youth; encouraging personal and social responsibility among such youth; enhancing interests, participation in, and benefits from elementary and secondary school; discouraging criminal behavior, such as illegal drug use, getting involved in violence and using dangerous weapons; discouraging gang involvement; and encouraging participation in community service and activities. Three-year65 grants were awarded for JUMP projects with the specific goal of grantees becoming self-sustaining by acquiring funding from other sources. Grant recipients ranged in size from small groups with mentoring as their primary focus, to larger groups with mentoring as one component of several services offered to atrisk children and their families. Some JUMP projects focused on specific genders while others targeted such populations as teen parents, youth involved in court cases, those who lived in residential facilities, and those returning to community life from juvenile facilities.66 The youth mentored by JUMP were the median age of 12 years old, half were African Americans, although other participants were white, Latino, Asian American or Native Americans. Most mentors were females (61%, ranging in age from 18- to87 years old with a median age of 32 years) who were college graduates and employed. The majority of the youth/mentor matches lasted for one year or less, while some matches lasted as long as two years or more. Most of the matches were with persons of the same gender, however, when cross-gender matchers were made, they usually were female mentors matched with male youth. Sixty-two percent of the youth were matched with mentors of the same race or ethnic group, while 38% of the youth were paired with someone of a different race or ethnic group.67 As noted earlier, JUMP, which was authorized under Part G of the JJDPA, was repealed by the amendments of 2002 with the expectation that mentoring activities 64 Laurence C. Novotney, Elizabeth Mertinko, James Lange, Tim Falb and Hilary Kirk, Juvenile Mentoring Program (JUMP): Early Evaluation Results Suggest Promise of Benefits for Youth, Information Technology International, Potomac, MD, May 2002, p. 4, [http://www.itiincorporated.com/Assets/pdf%20files/Bulletin.pdf], visited Oct. 13, 2004. (Hereafter cited as Novotney et al., “Juvenile Mentoring Program.”) 65 According to a spokesman in DOJ’s Office of Justice Program’s Congressional Affairs Office, grants were funded only for two years with $100,000 awarded to each grantee. Discussed in a telephone conversation on March 14, 2006. 66 U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “Mentoring Makes a Difference,” OJJDP News @ a Glance, vol. 2, no. 6, Nov./Dec. 2003, p. 1. 67 Jump Annual Report, 2003, “Introduction,” Information Technology International, Inc., 2003, at [http://www.itiincorporated.com], visited Sept. 10, 2004. CRS-18 would be conducted through the newly created Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Block Grant. Barriers and Solutions In DOJ’s Juvenile Mentoring Program: 1998 Report to Congress (hereafter referred to as The 1998 Report to Congress), several unanticipated barriers were presented that JUMP grantees experienced. The information was obtained from regularly submitted grantee progress reports and personal conversations with project staff. The most prominent barriers were grouped into five major categories — (1) unrealistic project goals, (2) inadequate staff and volunteer resources, (3) lengthy and cumbersome screening procedures, (4) insufficient community support, and (5) lack of adequate parental involvement. DOJ analysts believed the barriers were effectively addressed by grantees and discussed what they termed “solutions” to the barriers.68 A few examples of barriers and solutions DOJ analysts mentioned were:69 ! ! ! Barrier: There were not enough mentors to meet the demand of youth desiring mentors. Solution: The service goals and eligibility criteria for mentees were redefined, and the pool from which mentors were recruited was expanded. Barrier: One individual served as the only full-time paid staff member for a program, and found it to be an impossible task. Solution: Volunteer help was recruited to assist with some of the administrative tasks. Barrier: Some community organizations that wanted the mentoring program failed to provide tangible support for the program. Solution: Through outreach efforts, grantees educated community groups regarding their specific program needs and how their community support would help a youth. Grantees also realized that this type of communication had to be an ongoing effort. JUMP Evaluation The 1998 Report to Congress stated that one of the positive aspects of JUMP was the willingness of project staff to share their experiences and what they had learned with their immediate colleagues, as well as with staff involved in a different JUMP project. Regarding this program quality, the report stated that, “This peer support ... has maximized opportunities for mentoring project success and for 68 U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “Juvenile Mentoring Program: 1998 Report to Congress,” Shay Bilchik, Administrator, Dec. 1998, pp. 19-20. 69 Ibid. CRS-19 strengthening the protective factors that help shield youth from the many risks in their lives.”70 In 1997, OJJDP began an ongoing evaluation of JUMP to determine whether its goals to improve academic performance and school attendance of youth through mentoring efforts were actually being met, as well as whether delinquency and gang participation among the youth were declining. The continuing evaluation effort was conducted by Information Technology International (ITI), which encouraged grantees to use various tools to collect data for the national evaluation. One such ITI tool that was developed and distributed to each grantee was an automated data collection system called the JUMP Management Information System (JUMP MIS). Although JUMP received final funding in FY2003 for projects through FY2006, it is assumed that via the JUMP MIS database program, grantees continue to gather and report data about youth participants and mentor/youth match information for the national evaluation. Also, grantees use a standardized risk screening tool called the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT).71 POSIT is administered to JUMP participants who are 12 years and older when they begin the program, on the six-month anniversary of their mentoring match, and when they conclude the project. Additional information is provided through structured telephone interviews with project staff, on-site visits, and quarterly written reports. Early in the JUMP program, volunteer mentors had to be at least 21 years of age at the time that they began participating as mentors. OJJDP lowered the minimum age for JUMP mentors to 18 years after grantees reported problems with recruiting mentors within specific populations, particularly in colleges and universities. Because of the minimum mentor age change, younger mentors had to undergo additional training and support in working with JUMP mentees in order to ensure the greatest probability of success.72 In 2000, the contracted JUMP evaluators for OJJDP reported that some early evaluation results indicated that both youth and mentors viewed their experiences as positive. Participants were asked to respond with “a little, a lot, or not at all,” regarding whether they felt that their mentoring relationship helped the youth receive better grades, attend all classes, refrain from drinking alcohol or using drugs, avoid fights, stay out of gangs, refrain from using knives or guns, avoid friends who were troublemakers, and get along with family members. The evaluators found that “both youth and mentors were very positive when rating various aspects of their mentoring experiences, although perceptions of their relationships did not correspond completely.”73 For example, how mentors and the youth were matched appeared to 70 “Juvenile Mentoring Program: 1998 Report to Congress,” p. 22. 71 POSIT is a tool that initially was developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and adapted for use in JUMP’s evaluation. 72 Laurence C. Novotney, et al., “Juvenile Mentoring Program: Early Evaluation Results Suggest Promise of Benefits for Youth,” pp. 3-4. 73 Laurence C. Novotney, Elizabeth Mertinko, James Lange, and Tara Kelley Baker, “Juvenile Mentoring Program: A Progress Review,” OJJDP Juvenile Justice Bulletin, Sept. (continued...) CRS-20 affect how the benefits of mentoring were perceived. The boys who were matched with female mentors reported that they liked their mentors and felt that they were understood by them to the same degree as those youth who were paired with male mentors. On the other hand, boys paired with male mentors indicated that they received greater benefits regarding avoiding drug use and gang activity than did the boys paired with female mentors. Furthermore, results indicated that there were marginally significant differences in reports that mentoring helped deter youth from alcohol and weapons use. In particular, female mentors paired with boys reported that they noticed significantly less improvement than their male counterparts in the boys avoiding alcohol and drugs, fights, gang activity, knives or guns, and staying away from friends who started trouble.74 When youth and mentors were of different races or ethnic groups, mentors reported significantly less improvement in all of the areas mentioned above, as well as in school attendance. Mentors who were paired with youth of the same racial or ethnic background stated that they believed they understood their charges better than those mentors who were involved in cross-race matches. The evaluators concluded that The benefit of cross-race and cross-gender matches to youth is an important area for further study. However, it is important to bear in mind that self-report data are subject to various influences that can affect the data’s validity; therefore, research using more objective measures is needed. In addition, more sophisticated research designs and analyses are needed to control for potentially confounding variables.75 The evaluators found that while the national evaluation was beginning to answer overall questions about JUMP, project-level evaluations were encouraged because they would answer questions related to specific internal operations. Such evaluations, they noted, were particularly significant for mentoring programs because of the unique nature of such projects as an intervention. Also, they found that because mentoring relationships were personal, they varied widely from one match to another, and likewise mentoring projects varied greatly from one another. Additionally, they noted that relatively little mentoring research was available. Therefore, it was important that continuing self-evaluations be integrated into project activities.76 Overall, the evaluators concluded that Through JUMP, OJJDP not only has helped communities to establish mentoring projects that serve youth directly but also has supported research to enhance understanding of the dynamics of mentoring relationships. Knowledge obtained 73 (...continued) 2000, NCJ 182209, p. 5. 74 Ibid. 75 Ibid. 76 Ibid., pp. 5-6. CRS-21 from the JUMP national evaluation will help future mentoring projects provide effective, pragmatic services to the Nation’s youth.77 A 2002 JUMP evaluation report noted that in exit questionnaires for youth and adult mentors asking how beneficial they felt the mentoring relationship had been in nine areas, the youth reported higher levels of perceived benefits than the adult mentors.78 The nine areas included “getting better grades, attendance in class, staying away from alcohol, staying away from drugs, avoiding fights, staying away from gangs, not using knives or guns, avoiding friends starting trouble, and getting along with family.”79 A larger percentage of youth than mentors reported that they had been helped significantly in all areas, indicating a very positive response to the experience of being mentored. Only 59% of the youth, however, reported that they too would like to become mentors one day, while 41% indicated less enthusiasm, by answering “only a little” or “not very much” would they desire to do so. In the same manner, 61% of the mentors indicated that they believed that other adults would also want to become mentors by answering, “pretty much” or “a lot.”80 A fundamental goal of JUMP was to provide communities across the nation with the means of introducing the idea of mentoring to new populations. With this goal in mind, OJJDP provided JUMP funds to support a larger number of grantees for a limited time frame instead of providing longer continuing support for a smaller number of programs. The evaluators reported that it was believed that a significant measure of a program’s success would be the number of projects that could be continued after JUMP grant funds had been spent.81 Of the now completed 1995 and 1997 JUMP grant projects (totaling 93 project grantees, that is, 41 and 52 for each year respectively), 77% of grantees reported during exit interviews that JUMP projects would continue through funding from various other sources. In contrast, 14 JUMP projects would not be continued after the grant ended. More than half of those 14 grantees indicated that they could not continue the projects primarily because of a lack of financial resources.82 The fate of the projects of other JUMP grantees within the remaining 23% of those given exit interviews was not disclosed. The 2002 JUMP evaluation researchers concluded that In general, agencies that begin planning for the financial futures of their projects early are more likely to secure necessary resources to continue projects after JUMP funds end. Many, however, do not explore funding sources and prepare grant applications in a timely fashion, which leaves them without resources at the end of the JUMP grant. One of the most common requests for technical assistance is in the identification of potential funding sources, preparation of 77 78 Ibid., p. 8. Novotney, et al., “Juvenile Mentoring Program,” pp. 8-9. 79 Ibid., p. 9. 80 Ibid. 81 Ibid., p. 6. 82 Ibid. CRS-22 grant applications, and linking with local funding sources including State, city and county funds.83 A Jump Annual Report, 2003 was released by the JUMP evaluators regarding the outcome of the national evaluation effort. Since JUMP still has active projects underway through FY2006, a large volume of data has not yet been collected. Preliminary national evaluation findings of the evaluators are quoted as follows:84 ! ! ! ! ! “Our aggregated analysis of the youth-level gain scores show significant reductions in risk on three domains: aggressive behavior/delinquency, peer relationships, and mental health”; “A meta-analytic look at project-level gain scores also indicates that youth in many projects have shown small, but statistically significant, reductions in their risk of aggressive behavior/delinquency, peer relationships, and mental health between pre-test and post-test. On average, risk did not significantly worsen on the other three domains examined-substance abuse, family relationships and educational status”; “Half of JUMP matches have ended within seven months, and 17% of matches have ended within 90 days. The broader research literature on mentoring is beginning to suggest that short-lived mentoring relationships (i.e., those lasting less than three months) may have detrimental effects on youth”; “We found no evidence that cross-sex or cross-race matches have been shorter-lived than same-sex or same-race matches”; “Most projects do not comply fully with the reporting requirements of the national evaluation. Non-compliance in three areas has been especially detrimental: (1) administration of the POSIT risk survey at pre-test and post-test, (2) reporting of match end dates and (3) reporting on meetings between matched mentors and youth.” The national evaluation contractors noted that they could not conclude that JUMP had or had not reduced the risk behavior of participating youth. The national evaluation design would not support such broad and causal deductions about the program’s effectiveness.85 Appropriations and Funding History From FY1994 through FY2003, Congress appropriated $104 million for JUMP. During this time period, the program awarded 299 total grants across the nation, and provided over 9,200 youth with mentors.86 Another source indicates that 17,000 83 Ibid. 84 Jump Annual Report, 2003, “Conclusions,” Information Technology International, Inc., 2003, at [http://www.itiincorporated.com], visited Sept. 10, 2004. 85 Ibid. 86 Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “Coach a Kid in the Game of Life (continued...) CRS-23 youth have been served by JUMP across the nation.87 Irrespective of the correct number of youth mentored, JUMP funds were awarded to groups in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.88 Table 3 provides a history of JUMP appropriations. Table 3. JUMP — Appropriations History, FY1995 to FY2003 ($ in millions) Fiscal year Appropriation 1994 $4.0 1995 $4.0 1996 $4.0 1997 $7.0 1998 $12.0 1999 $12.0 2000 $13.5 2001 $15.9 2002 $15.9 2003a $15.8 Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Juvenile Programs, Office of Communications, May 21, 2004. a. Last official year of funding. Mentoring Funding Although the JUMP program was discontinued after FY2003 and no funding was provided in FY2004, Congress appropriated $14.8 million for mentoring projects in FY2005 under the defunct Part G. A portion of those funds (that is, $6.9 million) was awarded to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program, and the remaining $7.9 million was used for other earmarked mentoring activities.89 For FY2006, Congress appropriated $9.87 million for mentoring efforts, again under Part G. Of that amount, $6.9 million will be used for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. The 86 (...continued) ... Be a Mentor,” at [http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org/mentoring/index.html], visited Apr. 1, 2004. 87 Jump Annual Report, 2003, “Introduction,” Information Technology International, Inc., 2003, at [http://www.itiincorporated.com], visited Sept. 10, 2004. 88 Novotney, et al., “Juvenile Mentoring Program,” p. 1. 89 U.S. Dept. Of Justice, 2007 Congressional Authorization & Budget Submission, p. 149. CRS-24 remaining amount will be used for MISIY grants, mentoring earmarks, and other demonstration projects.90 For FY2007, the President has not requested funding for mentoring under Part G, which has been his practice since FY2004. The President did request $33.4 million for Part C, the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Block Grant, for FY2007, out of which mentoring activities can be funded. In addition, the Administration has requested $6.54 million under Part E (Developing, Testing, and Demonstrating Promising New Initiatives and Programs) to carry out mentoring demonstration projects.91 Mentoring Legislation in the 109th Congress Thus far in the 109th Congress, two bills have been introduced that specifically pertain to mentoring children and youth. H.R. 822, the Foster Care Mentoring Act of 2005, was introduced by Representative Millender-McDonald on February 15, 2005, and a related bill, S. 1343, was introduced by Senator Landrieu on June 30, 2005. The measures would amend Title IV Part B (Child-Welfare Services) of the Social Security Act and direct the Secretary of HHS to award grants to states to support establishing or expanding and operating programs using networks of public and private community groups to provide mentoring for children in foster care. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness, and the Senate Finance Committee, respectively. No further action has occurred. Resolutions have been introduced — H.Res. 46 on January 25, 2005, by Representative Osborne (identical to S.Res. 20, introduced by Senator Kennedy on January 26, 2005) to support the goals and ideals of National Mentoring Month (designated as January 2005 by S.Res. 20); and H.Con.Res. 41 on February 1, 2005, by Representative Schiff (identical to S.Con.Res. 9, introduced by Senator Ensign on February 2, 2005), which recognizes the second century of Big Brothers Big Sisters and supports its mission and goals. H.Res. 46 was passed and agreed to in the House (414-0) on February 8, 2005, while the remaining resolutions were referred to the appropriate committees. No further action has occurred. On January 27, 2006, S. Res.357, introduced by Senator McCain, proclaimed January 2006 as “National Mentoring Month.” After being referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, no further action has occurred. Concluding Observations The ED school-based mentoring program and HHS’s Mentoring Children of Prisoners program serving disadvantaged youth are in early stages of existence. Whether they will be effective and/or considered successful remains to be seen. The 90 Discussed in a telephone conversation with a spokesman in DOJ’s Office of Justice Program’s Congressional Affairs Office, March 16, 2006. 91 Ibid., and 2007 Congressional Authorization & Budget Submission, p. 141. CRS-25 President has proposed placing mentors in the lives of over one million disadvantaged children shifting from childhood to adolescence. It is questionable whether such a desire is realistic since one of the concerns that has emerged from early assessments of MCP and was mentioned as a JUMP barrier is the problem with recruiting and retaining program volunteers. Since JJDPA authorized grants for mentoring programs to achieve only one of six specific goals (as discussed above) from a national evaluation of the now defunct JUMP, it appears that the program did meet that requirement. The first goal, to provide basic guidance to at-risk youth, appears to have been achieved by virtue of a grantee establishing a JUMP project. According to OJJDP evaluators, however, data regarding the three more prominent mentoring goals set forth by JJDPA — helping youth to improve academically, reducing the drop-out rate, and reducing juvenile delinquency and involvement in gangs — were not readily available and were difficult to collect. Not all grantees were able to participate in the national evaluation because of difficulties in collecting the necessary data. This difficulty might be an important evaluation issue that needs to be addressed.92 92 Discussed in a telephone conversation with a spokesman at Information Technology International (the group that supports JUMP’s national evaluation funded by DOJ/OJJDP) on Sept. 10, 2004.