Webinar for USAID and youth program implementers, July 26, 2017.
Fifteen-year-old Luis found the attention he craved running with a gang in his small neighborhood in Tegucigalpa. Drugs, violence, and truancy became part of his everyday life. But his frightened mother found Proponte Más, where counseling helped Luis stay away from gangs and drugs, return to school, form positive friendships, and learn to respect his family.
“Those six months for me were amazing because I changed completely,” Luis said. “I learned to change my routine for the better, to be a better person.”
Experience Luis' transformation through this dynamic visual story told by USAID: "A New Life for Luis"
Arizona State University
The University of Southern California
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras
Terre de Hommes
Colegio de Psicólogos
Centro de Prevención de la Violencia
January 2016 - January 2019
The primary goal of Proponte Más is to reduce the nine empirically-derived risk factors for violence and criminal activity associated with youth ages 8 to 17 in Honduras.
Honduras, with nearly 66 homicides per 100,000 residents, faces a violence epidemic. In some of the country’s most isolated communities, the actual murder rate can be more than doubled the national average.
While youth are both the primary victims and perpetrators of this violence, research has shown that only a very small minority of youth living in these at-risk areas are likely to engage in violence and criminal behavior associated with gangs.
Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Proponte Más project will identify and work with 800 families and their youth ages 8 to 17 who are empirically at the highest risk of joining gangs. Using the Youth Services Eligibility Tool (YSET), youth are evaluated based on a series of nine risk factors at a family, peer and individual level domain.
Based on evidence and proven success, Proponte Más builds on Creative’s USAID-funded Proponte pilot, which reduced youth risk factors significantly at the end of the one-year period, including a 77 percent drop in the crime and substance abuse risk factor and a 78 percent drop in antisocial tendencies.
Using a family-centered approach, Proponte Más will train and certify 50 family counselors to work in close partnership with the families of high-risk youth to establish positive relations and behaviors to lower the youth’s risk factors.
The project will also reach an additional 500 to 700 youth at an even higher level of risk—first time or nonviolent juvenile offenders—with targeted support to improve their chances of reintegration after a period of incarceration.
Working along with Creative are international and local organizations with expertise in evidence-based secondary prevention, alternative justice and place-based strategy implementation. These groups include Arizona State University, the University of Southern California, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, Casa Alianza Honduras and Centro de Prevención de la Violencia.
Overview of Activities
Proponte Más will increase the capacity of community partners and service providers to implement secondary prevention services and will establish a Secondary Prevention Technical Committee (SPTC) in Tegucigalpa to coordinate technical assistance for community partners and service providers. 50 professionals from GOH entities will be trained on how to administer the YSET in a selected number of schools and family clinics. Additionally, Family counselors will identify and train referral sources to identify and refer youth who may qualify for secondary prevention services. All information on the project will be tracked and processed in Proponte Más’ Model Fidelity Database.
Through family network promoters, who will serve as extensions of our family counselors in the communities, Proponte Más will build relationships between local service providers (NGOs, schools, churches, and outreach centers), families, and the GOH to expand access to services such as health, jobs, and education.
To properly train 50 family counselors, Proponte Más will form a Curriculum and Evaluation Advisory Committee (CEAC) that will establish a framework for training in family counseling for family counselors, family network promoters, and GOH service providers. To further advance these efforts Proponte Más will work with the GOH to establish a locally-led Family Learning Network, in collaboration with universities and professional associations. The network will reinforce the already on-going GOH efforts to emphasize family centered services.
Building on existing laws, Proponte Más will s strengthen formal mechanisms to resolve non-violent youth crimes outside of courts; keep first/non-violent offenders out of detention centers; provide alternatives to prison for soon-to-be 18 year-olds already within detention; and strengthen the network of community initiatives or projects where youth offenders can serve their alternative sentences. To accomplish this, Proponte Más will provide trainings on alternative measures specifically geared to DINAF and their network of service providers. This will increase the number of CSOs with capacity to deliver alternative justice support.
- 50 family counselors trained and certified in the secondary prevention approach
- 800 youth and families receiving secondary prevention services in 16 communities
- 500-700 youth offenders recommended for alternative measures and receiving tertiary prevention services.
- 48 family network promoters trained with the capacity to support families
- 15 partners providing prevention and reintegration services through alliances