Project FOCUS Demographics/Outcome Data
Since July 2007, Project FOCUS (For Our Children’s Ultimate Success), has assisted 136 children and transitional age youth ranging in age from birth through 25 years. The program also serves the participant’s family members, which are not included in the statistics below. The following graphs and data are based on the 94 participants (a 12% increase over last year) served during fiscal year 2010-11.
Gender—The majority of participants served, 55, were male, with 38 female and one transgender.
Age—Of the 94 participants served, 39, were ages 13-17 years old, 35 were 18-25 years old, and 18 were 6-12 years old. There were 2 participants under the age of 6 years.
Ethnicity—Over 95% of participants served by Project FOCUS were Asian/Pacific Islander, with 55% of participants Vietnamese, 30% Korean, 4% Filipino, 2% Japanese, and 1% Hmong, Caucasian, Cambodian, Laotian, Pacific Islander, Samoan, and Chinese each. The remaining 3% were other ethnicities.
Over 95% of Project FOCUS’ participants and/or their parents/ guardians had experienced cultural and linguistic barriers. Studies have shown that compared to proficient English speakers, people with limited English are less likely to seek help and receive needed services. Of those served by Project FOCUS, 45% of participants had limited English proficiency and 38% were monolingual in their native language. That percentage was significantly higher for the parents/guardians of the participants.
Educatoon—At the time of enrollment, 64 participants were enrolled in school. After receiving services from Project FOCUS, 12 additional participants were in school. In addition to school, 46% of the participants received other educational support, such as specialized tutoring services for children with severe behavioral or emotional problems. It was reported this support significantly helped to improve participants’ grades.
Employment—Project FOCUS supports both participants and their family members to find appropriate employment and/or assist them to obtain the job skills needed to become self-sufficient. At the time of enrollment, five participants reported they were working. After enrollment with Project FOCUS, an additional nine participants became employed. In addition, the program provided supportive employment services to 36 parents by assisting them to enroll in training programs and vocational schools. The trainings helped parents develop the skills needed to obtain employment in an effort to support their children effectively.
Housing and Homelessness—The number of homeless participants at enrollment was five and after enrollment was three. The program supported participants with temporary shelters such as motels, transitional housing, etc. However, housing continued to be a challenge for TAY with a history of eviction and incarceration. They continued to live at parks or friend’s homes where they felt safer. Although the number of homeless participants was not high and the periods of homelessness were brief and episodic, thirty-five percent of our youth and their families were at risk of homelessness. Project FOCUS provided rental assistance to these families preventing them from becoming homeless.
Psychiatric Hospitalizations—At the time of enrollment, eight participants reported previous psychiatric hospitalizations. After enrollment, only one participant was hospitalized.
Incarcerations—At the time of enrollment, one participant had a previous history of incarceration. Since enrollment, two participants had been incarcerated. Project FOCUS staff has observed that participants and their families did not seek help until a serious situation, such as involvement with the law, occurred. Families did not know where to seek help, or services were not appropriate due to language and cultural barriers. As a result, the opportunity for early intervention with the possibility of avoiding incarceration was missed.