Get IN Chicago is currently collaborating with more than 20 agencies to strengthen mentoring and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) programs for acutely high-risk youth in Austin, Englewood, Humboldt Park, North Lawndale, Roseland, South Shore, and West Englewood.  In addition to funding services, Get IN Chicago is also providing capacity building, training, and referral support.

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Through five pillars, Get IN Chicago is working with the agencies to strengthen organizations, reach acutely high-risk youth, and create sustainable impact.

Mentoring and therapy services are set to kick off in 2017, but capacity building and training sessions are already underway.  Since September, staff members from mentoring and CBT organizations have participated in a comprehensive curriculum designed to improve how they implement evidence-based interventions with fidelity and measure the results.

“It’s important that the nonprofit field make changes to lift up on-the-ground workers and increase their cross-sector knowledge,” said Teresa Prim, the Get IN Chicago technical assistance provider coordinating training and capacity building efforts.  “The need for organizational capacity grew out of the need for sustainability.  With this program, we want to push Get IN Chicago’s impact beyond its five years of funding.”


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The curriculum is designed to meet organizational challenges identified in assessments by Get IN Chicago, Chapin Hall, Illinois Mentoring Partnership, Lurie Children’s Hospital, and other researchers.  Each session is meant to address and improve areas of greatest need, including data use, organizational leadership, financial management, fundraising, communications, technology, and more.  Sessions are available for all levels of staff, from executive leadership to frontline mentors and therapists.

At the cohort kickoff in September, representatives from all service provider partners and a few trainers were in attendance.  The event served as both a starting point and a reunion since many organizations had started building relationships during the 2015-2016 mentoring and CBT cohorts.

“I’m here because I’ve realized that Get IN Chicago really does want to know what we’re seeing and learning on the ground,” said Kimberly Lewis, Program Director at Primo Center for Women and Children.  Primo started working with Get IN Chicago last year as a CBT provider and will continue as service provider for Austin and North Lawndale in 2017.  “It’s refreshing to work with a funder who wants our feedback to incorporate it into their strategy for youth violence.”

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