Nevada Youth Alliance (NYA) developed and implemented an Outreach Worker Program in 2006 to support community-based violence reduction programs. This program supplies the support needed for Outreach Response Teams’ efforts in early intervention/outreach programs for at-risk youth. With the support of the Nevada Department of Public Safety Office of Criminal Justice Assistance, NYA received a Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) to fund the Outreach Worker Program. Since its inception, NYA’s Outreach Worker Program has experienced a significant increase in referrals, primarily from the Clark County Juvenile Court System and Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Services (DJJS). The NYA Outreach Worker Program focuses on youth ages 12 to 18 years. A NYA Outreach Worker is assigned directly to the youth offenders and their families getting them connected with needed community services and programs. Typically the youth assigned to the Outreach Worker are the most difficult to reach in the neighbourhood; those who have already crossed over the line into violent and/or criminal behavior. It is the criteria that the majority of these youth offenders come from the identified targeted areas.

In many cases, the person selected to be the Outreach Worker lives in the target area. This is important as the Outreach Worker must be able to relate to the challenges that the at-risk youth and families are facing. The Outreach Worker functions as a coach for the youth assigned to him or her. In addition to referring the youth and their families to support programs and services, the Outreach Worker becomes a mentor and positive role model for the youth and often their families and friends. To ensure that the Outreach Worker has the necessary time to commit to these youth and families each worker is assigned a maximum caseload of ten. The key to the success of the Outreach Worker Program is based on the relationship of trust, honesty and respect that is forged among the Outreach Worker, the youth and their families. The Outreach Worker Program is a vital piece of what NYA provides to the community. It is important because it allows for a more tangible, outcome driven approach in the provision of social services. The primary objective of the program is to assist the youth in becoming self sufficient, providing the opportunities to make better choices that will turn their life around.

The following goals and objectives were established for the Outreach Worker Program in 2007/2008:

Goal: Facilitate Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) strategies and partnerships to continue the provision of comprehensive anti-gang prevention services to youth.

  1. Objective: By September 30 2008, the Nevada Youth Alliance will enroll 25 youth in the NYA Outreach Project as measured by the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice referrals.
    Outcome: By September 30 2008, there were 27 youth enrolled in the NYA Outreach Worker program. These youth were identified directly through referrals from the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Services.
  2. Objective: By September 30, 2008, 90% of the youth enrolled in Nevada Youth Alliance PSN Outreach Project will have no new convictions for gang-related or weapons charges as measured by the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Services.
    Outcome: By September 30, 2008 no youth involved in the Outreach Worker Program had additional convictions with weapons charges subsequent to being enrolled in the program. 
  3. Objective: By September 30, 2008, 30% of PSN Outreach Project enrollments will be comprised of non-adjudicated youth who are not under formal probation of parole as measured by Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Services.
    Outcome:
    By September 30, 2008 the program's enrollment included:
     - 10% non-adjudicated youth community-based referrals.
     - 40% adjudicated non-weapons-charged youth under formal parole and probation
     - 50% adjudicated weapons-charged youths under formal parole and probation.

The following goals and objectives were established for the Outreach Worker Program in 2008/2009:

  1. Objective: By September 30 2009, the Nevada Youth Alliance will enroll 40 youth in the NYA Outreach Project as measured by the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice referrals.
    Outcome: By September 30 2009, there were 40 youth enrolled in the NYA Outreach Worker program. These youth were identified directly through referrals from the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Services.
  2. Objective: By September 30, 2008, 90% of the youth enrolled in Nevada Youth Alliance PSN Outreach Project will have no new convictions for gang-related or weapons charges as measured by the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Services.
    Outcome: By September 30, 2008 no youth involved in the Outreach Worker Program had additional convictions with weapons charges subsequent to being enrolled in the program.

The following goals and objectives were established for the Outreach Worker Program in 2009/2010:

  1. Objective: By September 30 2010, the Nevada Youth Alliance will enroll 30 youth in the NYA Outreach Project as measured by the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice referrals.
    Outcome: By September 30 2010, there were 30 youth enrolled in the NYA Outreach Worker program. These youth were identified directly through referrals from community-based organizations and the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Services. 
  2. Objective: By September 30, 2010, 90% of the youth enrolled in Nevada Youth Alliance PSN Outreach Project will have no new convictions for gang-related or weapons charges as measured by the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Services. 
    Outcome: By September 30, 2010 no youth involved in the Outreach Worker Program had additional convictions with weapons charges subsequent to being enrolled in the program.
  3. Objective: By September 30, 2010, a secure online system of form submission will be implemented, and used by referring agencies, mentors, and administrators to protect the privacy of youth and families. Also, an internal evaluation of the program will be conducted using the data collected. 
    Outcome: By September 30, 2010, a secure online system of data collection was implemented, and an internal evaluation of the program was initiated. The evaluation was completed and presented in January, 2011.

In 2010, NYA's Outreach Worker Program evolved in the way cases are documented and monitored. Secure web-based form submission is now used by referring agencies, mentors, and administrators to protect the privacy of youth and families.

 

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