Funding is being requested for the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence (JHCPYV) to implement a multifaceted strategy to reduce youth violence in the Lower Park Heights community of Baltimore in collaboration with the Park Heights Renaissance (PHR), Inc., other community organizations and residents, Baltimore City Public Schools, other service providers and governmental agencies. The proposed center includes faculty affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Schools of Public Health, Medicine, Nursing, Education, and Arts and Sciences. The JHCPYV employs a multi-sectored, public health framework and developmental and ecological perspectives towards understanding and preventing youth violence. The proposed continuum of interventions will deploy a Safe Streets (CeaseFire) intervention to provide outreach to high-risk youth, mediate potentially violent conflicts, and promote community-wide social norms that eschew violence. This collaborative effort will be linked with complementary evidence-based programs in the schools to prevent bullying, and promote safe and supportive environments, social-emotional learning, and positive youth development in order to prevent violence. We will foster a collaborative partnership which draws upon the varied expertise of Center faculty, staff from city agencies, community-based organizations, parents, and youth. The Center also proposes to expand and enhance school-based services in another community so we can contrast the outcomes in a community receiving a multifaceted community and school intervention with one only targeting schools and one that will not receive special enhancements. We will use a variety of data sources on the physical and social environment to identify and remedy conditions that facilitate violence, including problem alcohol outlets and abandoned houses as well as positive social interactions. Data will be collected from police and school records, surveys of middle-school children, as well as a proposed survey of randomly sampled youth in the three communities with similarly high baseline rates of youth violence. The overall goals of the Center are to 1) Create and sustain an administrative infrastructure to support implementation and evaluation activities, 2) Create, implement, and evaluate a multifaceted, evidence-based approach to youth violence prevention in a high-risk Baltimore community, and 3) Integrate training activities for early career researchers, educators, practitioners, community residents, and youth in youth violence prevention to complement the implementation and evaluation activities of the JHCPYV. The large number of multidisciplinary prevention researchers and several pre- and post-doctoral training programs at Johns Hopkins that address violence prevention provide an outstanding environment to train and mentor early career researchers, fellows, students, and community members in youth violence prevention.
The Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence uses a multifaceted, evidence-based approach to prevent youth violence emphasizing community-based and school initiatives, disseminates information about prevention, and prepares researchers and community collaborators for success.
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