Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $1,000,000)
This program aims to support and enhance efforts in more places to help catalyze and further the prevention and response to childrens exposure to violence and youth victimization and violence, especially gun and gang violence, through fully comprehensive approaches to violence and the promotion of well-being for youth.
Cook County, led by the County Board President through the Cook County Justice Advisory Council, will address youth violence and safety in targeted communities in South Suburban Cook County. Of the 128 municipalities in the region, Ford Heights, Harvey, and Robbins are challenged by some of the highest rates of youth poverty, unemployment, violent crime, and low academic achievement. Although a service provider infrastructure exists, the lack of coordination, communication, and resources too frequently hampers the ability of these communities to achieve positive outcomes for youth and families. Cook County will work with a broad and diverse stakeholder collaborative on a strategic planning process toward completion of three comprehensive place-based plans that are trauma informed and will link 300 youth ages 10 to 24 to prevention, intervention, and workforce development services and supports.
Cook County anticipates that upon implementation, the continuum of evidence-based strategies and trauma-informed services will reduce violence and improve the educational, behavioral health, employment, and prosocial outcomes for these youth. The County will also undertake community assessments to inform plan development. The goals of the project include (1) mobilize the target communities to enable them to more effectively address youth violence; (2) address youth violence and victimization through a trauma-informed approach with service linkages in the areas of prevention, intervention, and workforce development; and (3) provide appropriate supportive services to families.