Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $999,827)
Wayne County Action Program will serve seven high need rural school buildings located along Lake Ontario. Our Forming Competency to Reduce Risk program will improve student safety for over 1,700 students. The schools we serve are Community Schools, and we value our strong relationships with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and Wayne County Mental Health. Using the National Threat Assessment Center’s guidance, we have identified the ability to provide high level interventions other court initiated or clinical interventions for enough youth as a systematic weakness. Using Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) as a framework we will organize support for all students. We will use tiered planning to increase support for students identified or referred for extra help based on their emotional or behavioral distress. We will focus on building relationships that are supportive and connective. We will support participating schools by organizing mentoring, vocational training and cognitive-behavioral therapy-based groups as evidence-based practices that increase pro-social attachment to peers, school and community. Lack of attachment and competency is a critical root cause for risky behavior for the students we serve. Over 70 students annually will receive targeted individual support like mentoring or case management. Over 200 students will benefit from group supports and youth employment. Relationships will increase protective factors, and young people identified by our student support teams will be less likely to be suspended from school. Tier 2 and Tier 3 Student Support Teams in each school building will operate with greater effectiveness as measured by the Tiered Fidelity Inventory. All students in each building will report feeling safer in school on our annual surveys. All students and stakeholders will better understand the impacts of trauma. Explanation of trauma-informed approaches will help all stakeholders understand why relationship building programs are valuable and how attachment can help foster resilience. Our data will demonstrate that protective factors work to keep young people in school, safe and out of court. Wayne County Sheriff's Office, Wayne County Mental Health, Wayne County Probation, and Wayne Pre-Trial Services will link our program to courts, law enforcement, mental health and workforce development professionals. Our Community Schools approach will rally champions and mentors to come alongside young people and prevent acts of violence, suicide and self-harm. We will help young people envision positive futures for themselves and hold out hope through careful development of relationships with mentors, community members and peers.