Audioconference to Highlight Public Health Approaches to Youth Violence Prevention

By Meade, Katie | Nation's Cities Weekly, October 6, 2008 | Go to article overview

Audioconference to Highlight Public Health Approaches to Youth Violence Prevention


Meade, Katie, Nation's Cities Weekly


NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) will host a free, hour-long audioconference, called "Youth Violence Prevention: A Public Health Approach," on Thursday, October 23 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. To register for the call, visit www.nlc.org/iyef.

Listeners will hear from municipal leaders, representing cities across the country, who are addressing youth violence through a public health lens that focuses on multi-faceted, long-term strategies targeting the root causes of the problem. Speakers will include:

* Rob Ingram, director, Office of Youth Violence Prevention, City of Portland, Ore., and

* Ken Shetter, executive director, Safe Cities Commission, Fort Worth, Texas.

A Public Health Approach

By adopting a public health framework, municipal leaders are not only taking steps to suppress the disturbing number of violent incidents involving youth, but are also focused on reducing risk factors such as family instability and substance abuse, as well as bolstering protective factors that reduce the likelihood that young people will turn to violence.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In Fort Worth, youth participants in the Safe Cities Commission's Bright Futures program focus on academics, enrichment activities and life skills training as a positive alternative to violent or risky behavior. Led by Mayor Ken Shetter of the nearby suburb of Burleson, the Fort Worth Safe Cities Commission seeks to prevent crime throughout the Fort Worth area through planning and research, community collaboration and effective prevention programming.

In a number of cities, municipal leaders are seeking comprehensive, coordinated approaches to violence reduction that blend law enforcement with prevention and intervention programs.

In Minneapolis, under the leadership of Mayor R.T. Rybak, a committee of city, county and community experts has developed a Blueprint for Action to Prevent Youth Violence, which contains four key goals: connecting youth to trusted adults; intervening at the first sign that youth are at risk for violence; restoring youth who have gone down the wrong path; and launching a public education campaign to reverse the culture of violence. …

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