Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,299,999)
Palmer Police Department applied for a $1.3 million, Category 1b grant on behalf of the Mat-Su Responds to Drug Endangered Children Multidisciplinary Task Force (MDT). The MDT was created to address gaps in the response to drug endangered children and their families living in Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough, to improve communication among agencies serving these populations, and to create a streamlined approach to providing family-centered, early intervention services to this population, with a goal of reducing both child victimization and repeat interactions between families and MDT member agencies.
The Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Grant will enable the MDT to fully implement the Protocols developed pursuant to a 2022 signed Memorandum of Understanding. The MDT will hire a full-time MDT & DEC Project Coordinator to support MDT member agencies in adhering to the newly established protocols, keep agencies on task, and collect, track, and analyze relevant data to determine the MDT’s efficacy in achieving its stated goals.
Allowable uses under this project include real-time data collection and evaluation, which will help the MDT better understand the extent of the issue, the number of families referred to services, and determine the efficacy of the MDT’s efforts and adjust processes as needed, and; law enforcement and first responder deflection and diversion, through early identification and referrals of drug endangered children and their families to appropriate services to reduce repeat interactions. Roughly 50% of the project’s proposed budget is allocated to these uses, either through direct hires (MDT & DEC Project Coordinator) or contracts to hire family advocates to provide services and an evaluator to assist in identifying, collecting, and evaluating relevant data.
Priority considerations addressed in this application include advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities (Alaska Native populations). Information regarding plans to respond to this priority consideration can be found on pages 17-19 of the grant application.
This project serves residents of Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough. It includes a partnership, via a pre-existing signed memorandum of understanding, between the Alaska State Troopers – B Detachment; Alaska Youth & Family Network; Chickaloon Village Traditional Council; Knik Tribe; Mat-Su Regional Medical Center; Matanuska Susitna Borough School District; Palmer Police Department; State of Alaska Office of Children’s Services, Southcentral Regional Office; State of Alaska, Attorney General’s Office, Civil Division; State of Alaska Palmer District Attorney’s Office; Set Free Alaska; The Children’s Place (Regional Child Advocacy Center), and; Wasilla Police Department.