Session: Strengthening Communities and Empowering Families to Lessen and Eradicate Violence (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

168 Strengthening Communities and Empowering Families to Lessen and Eradicate Violence

Friday, January 17, 2020: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Marquis BR Salon 7, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Adolescent and Youth Development (ADOL)
Todd Herrenkohl, PhD, University of Washington, Dexter Voisin, PhD, University of Chicago and Bart Klika, PhD, Prevent Child Abuse America
Highly publicized acts of violence, including recent school shootings, raise concerns about the policies and practices currently in place to protect children and families from acts of serious harm. However, the landscape of violence is broad, ranging from structural inequality, race-related stress, police violence and uneven social policies that all contribute to the manifestation of family and community violence. Narrow conversations often follow incidents of community and family violence. These center on strategies to prevent future acts from occurring by keeping attackers from gaining access to weapons and teaching strategies to promote public safety. Actions to lessen incidents that can lead to such tragedies are critical and very much needed. So, too, are actions to protect the safety and promote the well-being of children and youth who reside in high need communities. Equally important is the need to contextualize the landscape of broader historical and contextual issues that sustain such violence, while supporting the factors that curtail such exposures.

Research shows that young people who live in high poverty rural and urban communities are at much higher risk to be exposed to family and community violence than are those who reside in more affluent communities, although no community is immune. Preventing and eradicating violence requires a comprehensive response that starts with increasing public awareness of the factors that promote and inhibit violence; deepening understanding of the intersections between violence and other health and social conditions; and promoting the use of universal and more targeted interventions that strengthen families by supporting parents so that they can provide adequately for the health and well-being of their children.

In this roundtable, we will initiate a conversation about how we currently view and approach the task of reducing violence in historically under-resourced communities and explain how and where we can do a better job of serving communities with elevated rates of family and community violence. Presenters will discuss policy-to-practice intersections that align with population health and community empowerment models.

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