Disconnected Youth and Gangs in the United States

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$185,886.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1R43HD061937-01A2
Agency Tracking Number:
R43HD061937
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
NICHD
Solicitation Number:
PA10-050
Small Business Information
INDEPENDENT LIVING RESOURCES, INC.
411 ANDREWS RD, STE 140, DURHAM, NC, 27705-2993
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
624354247
Principal Investigator:
WILLIAM GRIFFIN
(919) 384-1457
w.griffin@ilrinc.com
Business Contact:
WILLIAM GRIFFIN
(919) 384-1457
w.griffin@ilrinc.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The purpose of this project is to develop, produce, and evaluate a competency-based multimedia, eLearning course for human service professionals. The overall program will be used to deliver a 21/2 -hour, six-module, eLearning course on the web, providing users with a home or agency-based technology for receiving a high quality and comprehensive continuing education course. Users will register for the course through their home agencies or individually to advance their knowledge of disconnected youth, gangs, and gang related activities. The course will be designed to meet new-worker and recurrency training requirements. In Phase I, we will develop content and measures for the first of six modules on dealing with disconnected youths in relation to information needed to assess gang related risks and family involvement. The emphasis will be on helping human service workers develop strategies for working with gang involved families and children. To date, within the human services field, there has been poor targeting of at-risk youths who are potential or active gang members and provision of effective services to these individuals and their families. Within many communities, most if not all services geared towards disconnected youth and gangs are undertaken by law enforcement with limited collaboration and involvement of existing community-based human services delivery groups. Once developed and tested in web-format, the course can be easily updated as new community, state and federal information and policies change. The project will develop and test the first module of a Disconnected Youth and Gangs in the US eLearning course. The purpose of the evaluation is to understand how the training materials are used, identify areas that are successful and opportunities for improvement. Accordingly, the evaluation plan for this project focuses on fundamental issues of satisfaction and knowledge. Satisfaction - pertains to satisfaction with the materials, the look and feel of the website, level of engagement during use of the materials, and ease of navigation within the eLearning course. Satisfaction, relevance of material, and knowledge gain will be assessed with a combination of open-ended questions and Likert scales (seven-point scales with defined anchors) constructed to rate affective dimensions associated with satisfaction. Knowledge gain - knowledge will be measured objectively and subjectively. Knowledge will be measured objectively by a short, direct assessment focused on the competencies/learning objectives. A pretest/posttest with comparison group design will be used in the study. In Phase II, we will develop five remaining related learning modules and incorporate a cutting edge user/product business development approach for futureeLearning courses that will originate with concepts developed by consumers within the field of human services delivery. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The proposed training modules will be developed to enhance the competencies of those professionals who work with youths and their families. The modules are specifically planned to provide practical training that incorporates adult learning and experiential theories to address the shortage of a competent stable workforce. The proposed eLearning course will directly address the increasing number of disconnected youths needing services and the lack of qualified human services staffs that work directly with children and families.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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