Community Based Programs

In FY2018, five programs are supported by the CCPD Community Based Program fund. These programs include:

Lena Pope Home, Inc. – Second Opportunity for Success®

Research indicates that juvenile offenders face many barriers to leading a life free of future crime and violence, including truancy, family instability, and substance abuse or mental health issues.  Further, Texas has higher rates of juvenile detention than the national average, which creates significant community costs. Lena Pope's Second Opportunity for Success® program works to rehabilitate first time offending youth in the community, which research and previous program results suggest produces better, more cost-effective outcomes for these youth. The program has two phases which use research-tested strategies to address each of the barriers that juvenile offenders face to living without violence and recidivism. The first phase is seven weeks of skill building groups for both youth and their parents. Parents are required to accompany their children to each weekly class and attend a separate parenting class. Both parents and youth learn to effectively express concerns and solve problems. This intensive family involvement is one of the aspects that sets Second Opportunity for Success® apart, and according to research, is crucial to an effective diversionary program. The second phase of the program is a 90-day follow-up period where a Lena Pope staff monitors the student in the community to assure continued success.  After the 90-day probation period has expired, the youth and family has completed all program requirements, and the youth has not re-offended, Lena Pope recommends to the referring party that the youth be successfully discharged and that the youth's charges be dropped.

Second Opportunity for Success® has been recognized nationally as an outstanding program. Urban Solutions did an assessment of youth reentry programs in 2004, and named Second Opportunity for Success® as one of the top ten diversionary programs. Further, the program has had outstanding success since it began in 2000, with a cumulative tenured staff, and the creation of lasting supports for youth and their families.

Casa of Tarrant County – Supporting Foster Youth through Permanency and Collaborative Family Engagement

CASA of Tarrant County is a volunteer-based program advocating for the safety, permanency, and healing of abused and neglected children. CASA recruits, trains, and supervises community members to become volunteer advocates for children during their time in foster care. By forming a relationship with the child and the supportive adults in the child's life, the CASA volunteer learns about the child's unique needs and strengths. They help the child obtain therapeutic services the child needs to heal from their abuse while engaging and empowering the child's social support system. Over the course of a twelve-month court case, the CASA volunteer assesses if it would be in the child's best interest to return home to their family, be placed with a relative, or be made available for adoption. The CASA then provides the judge with a recommendation regarding what kind of permanent home would be in the child's best interests. They are one of the most consistent sources of suppo1t and stability for the child during their difficult and uncertain time in care, and they advocate that all decisions are made to meet the needs of the whole child.

As Tarrant County's expe1ts on finding permanency for foster youth1 '2, CASA of Tarrant County is utilizing a new, evidence-based intervention Collaborative Family Engagement, designed to increase and strengthen a child's social capital, creating a large network of lifelong support for the child while maintaining existing family relationships and community connections. North Texas had the highest number of children aging out of foster care in 2016, meaning these children leave foster care when they become adults without having found a permanent family. Youth who age out of foster care are incredibly at-risk for future criminal activity: in fact, 50% of youth who age out of foster care are incarcerated by age 23. By helping foster children find sustainable permanency as quickly as possible with a proven intervention, CASA reduces foster children's risk of aging out of foster care when they become adults, helping to prevent their involvement in the criminal justice system. The Collaborative Family Engagement Intervention requires more time and effort than Child Protective Services or foster care agencies have the capacity to give. Between reviewing years of case files, searching for contact information, interviewing collateral adults, working with the child to create visual aids to identify family and social support (while engaging the child's literacy skills), contacting and following up with social supports, facilitating family meetings, and utilizing written and verbal tools to help families feel empowered and decreased family stigma that causes resistance to working with child welfare, Collaborative Family Engagement requires a high degree of intentionality and capacity. With only one or two cases of children at a time ( compared to 23 cases for child welfare workers), our passionate volunteers have the time and zeal needed to find family for these children, leading to better permanency outcomes and a prevention in future criminal activity. Due to various legal circumstances, some Fort Worth children may still age out of foster care. However, if CASA can help build a network of lifelong relationships for children aging out of care, those children are that much more supported and equipped for adulthood and, as research shows, less likely to commit crimes, especially more violent or extensive crimes.

Girl’s Incorporated of Tarrant County – Girls Inc. Prevention and Leadership Program

The Girls Inc. Prevention and Leadership program at Washington Heights Elementary School program addresses the problems of youth violence, substance abuse, and other crime by delivering programs that increase protective factors and decrease risk factors for girls. The program also addresses literacy for first through third grade girls, which meets the special emphasis requirement of the grant. Girls Inc.'s Literacy Initiative is a successful program that supports school districts to improve the literacy skills of first through third grade girls who are not currently reading at grade level. As part of the Fort Worth Literacy Partnership, Girls Inc. of Tarrant County is committed to helping Fort Worth ISD achieve the goal for 100% of third graders to be reading at grade level by 2025.

Washington Heights Elementary School is located in Fort Worth's Northside community (Zip code 76106), which has high rates of crime, truancy and school dropout, and substance abuse. Girls Inc. provides researched-based programs during and after school in a safe, supportive and mentoring environment on the campus of Washington Heights Elementary School. Seventy (70) first through fifth grade girls will be served with CCPD funds. Girls Inc. curricula educates and empowers girls to:

  • Build skills to positively navigate social situations and overcome relational aggression that can escalate into violent behavior.
  • Build skills to resist pressure to use/abuse alcohol, drugs and other harmful substances.
  • Participate in community service activities through our Leadership and Community Action.
  • Improve first through third grade girls' literacy skills by supporting their classroom learning with additional literacy instruction and practice.

JPS Foundation – Stop the cycle of Family Violence in Fort Worth

The proposed program, Stop the Cycle of Family Violence in Fort Worth, addresses two significant safety issues in Fort Worth: human trafficking and family violence. In the first four months of 2017, Fort Worth Police identified almost as many human trafficking victims as had been found in all of 2016. Many human trafficking victims are also victims of domestic violence. Domestic and family violence account for 59% of violent crime in Tarrant County. Domestic violence is a vicious cycle, where the victims are subject to repeated acts of violence and abuse, and children raised in these environments are more likely to be victims or abusers themselves. CCPD can reduce violent crime and increase public safety in Fort Worth by targeting domestic violence and human trafficking. One of the barriers to stemming family violence and human trafficking is successfully identifying victims. Hospitals and healthcare providers are in a unique position to identify victims because domestic violence victims average 17 medical visits per year. Unfortunately, the DFW Hospital Council has found that none of the local hospitals use a research-tested domestic violence or human trafficking screening instrument, which results in victims falling through the cracks, and even one devastating story of a victim who was beaten to death after not being identified by multiple area hospitals.

To increase public safety, the John Peter Smith [JPS] Foundation requests CCPD funding to implement a research-tested domestic violence and human trafficking screening survey designed to identify victims and prevent repeated violence. The screening survey will be implemented at intake for all patients in three high-traffic locations: JPS’ Emergency Room, Level I Trauma Center—which treats the county’s most life-threatening injuries—and the Stop Six Community Clinic. In Stop the Cycle, JPS will identify a research-tested screening survey, train clinical staff in the screening, and implement the screening survey for all patients in these three departments. This screening will be completed as part of every patient’s intake and medical history, identifying victims who would otherwise fall through the cracks. Once victims are identified, they will be referred to Fort Worth Police and social service providers. Additionally, to break the cycle of violence, JPS will provide books and connections to literacy resources for victims with children. Over the grant period, JPS projects screening almost 18,000 patients for domestic violence and human trafficking. An estimated 2,500 patients will be identified as victims, and JPS will provide books and literacy resources to 1,500 children of victims. Further, through the DFW Hospital Coalition, JPS will provide the identified screening survey, training tools, and lessons learned to other Fort Worth hospitals, catalyzing the implementation of a domestic violence and human trafficking screening survey throughout hospitals in Fort Worth. Stop the Cycle addresses all three CCPD goals, both priority considerations, and is able to have a great impact on city-wide safety and reductions in violent crime.

Safe Haven of Tarrant County – SafeKids

SafeHaven of Tarrant County’s SafeKids program is intended to break the cycle of domestic violence by providing school-age children and youth with the knowledge, skills, and resources to recognize and respond appropriately to abusive, controlling behaviors in their family and dating/intimate relationships. Domestic violence is a crime that affects families of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds and every socioeconomic category. 

In 2015, there were 12,548 family violence incidents reported in Tarrant County, and the youngest person to lose her life in an intimate partner homicide was only 16 years old.  Girls and women between 16 and 24 experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence, and nearly half of all adult sex offenders report committing their first sexual assault offense prior to the age of 18.  SafeKids is a school-based program using evidence-based curriculum designed to prevent domestic/dating violence by giving students the information and skills necessary to avoid becoming either a perpetrator or victim. 

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