SafeFutures is an innovative program designed to help at-risk children and adolescents in the City of St. Louis. The project has been designed and funded by the U. S. Office of Juvenile justice and Delinquency Prevention at the rate of $1.4 million per year; funding is for five years. The Office of Youth Development of the City of St. Louis will administer SafeFutures, and Project Respond will manage it. Interventions are planned through programs designed to comprehensively address the needs of youths at varying risk levels; approaches will range from prevention to intervention and rehabilitation.
Neighborhood-based programs are structured to enhance protective factors, and are targeted at youths who have not previously had trouble with law enforcement agencies. Services will be provided at Carver, Williams, and Sherman Community Education Centers, and will include family support , early childhood and parenting programs, after-school enrichment, one-to-one mentoring, and healthy behavioral development programs with a special emphasis on addressing the needs of young women. A variety of providers throughout the St. Louis community will assist in offering these services.
Programs are also aimed at preventing delinquency and intervening in gang activities. These more intensive services are aimed at youths who have already displayed some delinquent behaviors. These services will be enhanced by the efforts of a community-wide gang task force, which will work with other members of the community to assure that appropriate programs will address the specific needs of this population. St. Louis Public Schools, the City of St. Louis Department of Health and Hospitals, the St. Louis Police Department and all other SafeFutures partners will work together to provide education, jobs, recreation, health and mental health services fitting the needs of the youths who are referred to SafeFutures programs.
Most critically, SafeFutures will focus on the highest-risk youths who have already been involved with the Juvenile Justice system. The programs will aim to rehabilitate youths who have already dealt with law enforcement agents, and seek to improve how cases are handled in the juvenile justice system. As part of the overall program these youths will receive education, job training and counseling. They will be involved in restitution programs and employment programs where appropriate. Youths will be assisted in accessing these programs through case managers - All SafeFutures program will work together to assure that these youths will have the opportunity to be reintegrated into the community with the necessary support of cooperating SafeFutures partners.
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.