Grant: $487,350 - Department of Justice - Sep. 29, 2009
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Award Description: The proposed research project is a content and process evaluation of internet safety education materials currently utilized by the Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) Task Forces in school and community settings across the country. Despite a proliferation of internet safety programs, there is little information to guide law enforcement or policy makers in determining which materials or delivery methods are most likely to increase children’s online safety. This evaluation provides an objective assessment of internet safety materials and their use by drawing from the expertise of two knowledgeable teams in youth internet safety, the Crimes against Children Research Center (CCRC) at the University of New Hampshire (www.unh.edu/ccrc) and the ICAC Task Force Training and Technical Assistance Program (http://www.icactraining.org/). Although there have been a small number of outcome evaluations, they have mostly lacked rigor and provided no evidence that existing programs change youth behavior or reduce risk. While more outcome evaluation will be critical to establishing evidenced-based internet safety programs in the future, the field must first systematically review existing education materials and implementation strategies to identify those with the greatest chance of effectiveness. Toward these ends, the proposed research will analyze youth internet safety curricula and implementation in light of research-based principles of effective prevention programs and by drawing from the expertise of a panel of prevention, youth education, and internet safety professionals. Based on evaluation results, we will make detailed recommendations to ICAC Task Force educators regarding optimal internet safety education content and delivery, as well as future program monitoring and evaluation efforts. The specific goals of the project are to: 1) Systematically rate and compare the content of four prominent youth Internet safety curricula (Netsmartz, i-SAFE, Web Wise Kids, and iKeepSafe) to determine how well they adhere to known principles of effective prevention programs and accuracy and relevance of materials; 2) Conduct a process evaluation of Internet safety education efforts by ICAC Task Forces; and 3) Provide recommendations and piloted materials to ICAC Task Forces to enhance prevention efforts and facilitate future program monitoring and outcome evaluations. Completed products will include: a piloted Internet youth safety evaluation toolkit for use in future outcome evaluations and by ICAC Task Forces in program monitoring; a clearinghouse for Internet safety prevention education materials and research for use by ICAC Task Force educators and evaluators; the development of partnerships with interested state education departments and school districts in the U.S.; and detailed written recommendations for ICAC youth Internet safety prevention education efforts. The proposed process and content evaluation of the four wide-reaching Internet safety education curricula would provide an innovative, independent, and objective formative evaluation that will further our understanding of how such materials are being presented to the community. Findings will guide law enforcement and policy makers in determining which materials or delivery methods are likely to have the greatest impact on children’s online safety, as well as serve as a foundation for establishing consistency in the implementation of education efforts across law enforcement. ICAC Task Forces will be able use the recommended reforms and resulting products to improve their influence on youth online behavior and safety. The findings will also provide important groundwork to shape future Internet safety program development and evaluation efforts.
Project Description: See Award Description.
Infrastructure Description: Not Applicable.
Jobs Summary: This grant was awarded on 9/29/09. There has been no job creation/retention activity this quarter. (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Not Started
This award's data was last updated on Sep. 29, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.