Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $487,350)
The Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the 'Recovery Act'), provides the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with funding for grants to assist State, local and tribal law enforcement (including support for hiring), to combat violence against women, to fight internet crimes against children, to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, to assist victims of crime, and to support youth mentoring. DOJ is committed to working with national, State, local and tribal partnerships to ensure this funding invests in the American workforce.
Specifically, the National Institute of Justice is making this award for a multisite evaluation of internet child safety materials used by Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) task forces in school-and community-based prevention and awareness programs.
The proposed research is a content and process evaluation of internet safety materials used by ICAC Task Forces. The goals of the research are to: rate and compare the content of four prominent youth Internet safety curricula; conduct a process evaluation of Internet safety education by ICAC Task Forces; and provide recommendations and piloted materials to ICAC Task Forces to enhance prevention efforts and facilitate future program monitoring and outcome evaluations. The research will enable ICAC Task Forces to use the most effective means of delivering internet safety prevention in their communities.
The first goal will be accomplished through the development of a Prevention Component matrix. The components will be operationalized to facilitate coding, rating and comparing the four Internet safety curricula. A codebook will be developed based on the matrix as well as existing research. The investigators will consult a panel of professionals with expertise in prevention, education, and Internet safety to ensure that the matrix will be effective.
The second goal will be accomplished through online surveys from three groups involved in the dissemination of the materials: ICAC Task Force commanders and educators, and school coordinators. The investigators will survey all 59 ICAC commanders who in turn will provide the names of their ICAC educators. The investigators will use a stratified sampling method to select educators for the second survey. The educators will provide names of school and community-based coordinators of the ICAC presentations.
The third goal will be accomplished by developing an Evaluation Toolkit based on the outcome of the first two goals. The toolkit will provide a set of measures adapted to cover issues targeted by prevention programs. The measures will be piloted in 4-5 focus groups with children from local schools covering such topics as children's activities, online safety procedures, and use of other electronic technologies. The children will vary in age and gender. Findings will be reviewed for common themes and incorporated into the toolkit. The investigators will establish an Internet Safety Prevention Clearinghouse and provide recommendations for Internet safety prevention programs. The investigators will develop partnerships with state education departments for greater use of the toolkit. Dissemination will include the ICAC Task Forces, school personnel, youth serving organizations, and librarians. The investigators will place factsheets on their website for greater public accessibility.
All procedures involving the respondents and focus groups will be reviewed and approved by the University of New Hampshire's Institutional Review Board.