Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,999,597)
Project CLIMATE approaches improving the climate of and behaviors in restrictive school settings in juvenile justice facilities and residential treatment centers where our most vulnerable youth receive educational services and continue to present behavioral problems even in the presence of additional personnel, heightened supervision patterns, and trauma-informed approaches. Such behavioral problems are disruptive to the educational learning of all youth and pose safety/security threats to youth and staff. These problem behaviors are characterized as youth-on-youth/staff assaults, non-compliance leading to aggression, and bullying – all interfering with rehabilitative and habilitative missions. We anchor the Project in the CrimeSolutions practice school-based foci of a) selective violence prevention programs, b) social and emotional learning programs, c) bullying prevention programs, and d) universal teacher classroom management practices. We will use a descriptive pre/post design with no control group [each year being a demonstration] with 38 facilities and provide all training, technical support, and coaching by addressing violence through equipping staff with universal proactive, preventative, and evidence-based tools to improve behaviors. Protocols will include how to: 1) defuse anger and aggression safely, 2) manage non-compliance, 3) use behavioral function (FAST Method), 4) use conflict resolution (Positive Action kit), and 5) bully prevention/social-emotional learning curricula (Positive Action kit). We expand our focus to include guardians/community partners using a parenting class (Positive Action). Primary Activities: These include: 1) providing on-site training, ongoing coaching, and technical support to the teams and staff; 2) adapting protocols for use with guardians/community partners; 3) measuring the effects of such tools from a staff feasibility, usage, and content knowledge lens and guardian/community partner perspectives; 4) measuring the effects of such tools on youth behaviors; and 5) creating training protocols that are sustainable for use by the teams post funding. Products and Deliverables: These include: a) protocols; b) measurement schedules/assessments; c) adapted materials for specific use within these restrictive settings for contextual fit. Service Area: AZ, AL, GA, MI, MT Who Will Benefit: Our project is designed to a) improve the skill sets of staff who work within the educational settings of the facility to be aligned with positive youth development models, evidence-based practices, and universal supports which all staff may implement; b) improve engagement and behaviors in education through newly acquired behavioral of the youth; and c) engage guardians and community partners in the use of these tools to provide a more comprehensive and integrated approach across adults in these youth’s lives.