Faith and community-based organizations provide critical leadership, knowledge and passion in preventing and intervening in youth violence.
Staff and volunteers from churches, mosques, synagogues and community centers mentor children, counsel parents, teach classes, serve meals, conduct neighborhood clean-ups, conduct home visits and work with law enforcement to patrol the streets. They provide vital services in communities and their extensive networks can help link youth and families to resources.
Collaborative partnerships between local governments, law enforcement agencies and community and faith-based organizations are key to successful youth violence prevention efforts.
The Departments of Justice and Education launched the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention in October 2010 to start a national conversation about youth and gang violence. Since then, federal agencies have partnered with 15 Forum communities throughout the country.
The goals are to: 1) elevate youth and gang violence as an issue of national significance; 2) enhance the capacity of communities to more effectively prevent youth and gang violence; and 3) sustain progress and systems change through engagement, alignment and assessment.
No single approach will work in isolation. We need a comprehensive strategy for addressing this complex issue.
Through the Forum, we are helping jurisdictions develop balanced approaches to reducing our nation's homicide rate among youth. A balanced approach includes connecting members of the faith community, non-profit practitioners and residents - including youth - with law enforcement, schools and other key stakeholders such as mayors' offices, district attorneys and U.S. Attorneys. The goal is to find local solutions to local problems.
Visit the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention website to learn more about the efforts and activities of the Forum communities.