Session: Promoting Protective School Policy to Reduce Violence (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

179 Promoting Protective School Policy to Reduce Violence

Friday, January 13, 2023: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Estrella, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: School Social Work
Poco Kernsmith, PhD, Wayne State University
Poco Kernsmith, PhD, Wayne State University, Joanne Smith-Darden, PhD, Wayne State University and Heather McCauley, ScD, Michigan State University
Youth are vulnerable to multiple and co-occurring forms of violence. Youth are at the highest risk for sexual violence victimization and those who experience one form of violence are at greater risk for subsequent victimization. Dissemination of evidence-based strategies to prevent violence among youth is, therefore, an important public health priority. Shared risk and protective factors for violence are shaped early in life and schools are a vital space for early prevention and intervention. There is a clear demand for policies that can reduce multiple and co-occurring forms of violence in school settings. While promising policies have been evaluated for effects on risk and protective factors, school-level policies have not yet been rigorously evaluated for violence outcomes.

This interactive workshop will allow participants to explore the background and process of assessing school policies and practices to promote protective environments for youth and to prevent and respond to violence or threats of multiple forms of violence. The workshop will focus on the use of an evidence-based scoring rubric to identify strengths and needs in school and district policies, designed to improve school climate, diversity and inclusion, victim-centered responses to violence, and restorative practices.

The scoring rubric was developed as part of a CDC-funded cooperative agreement to reduce violence perpetration. The rubric is based on empirical research and best practices from state and national sources, with particular attention to trauma-informed practices, equity, affirming and inclusive language, and reductions in exclusionary discipline. The rubric was pilot tested with written policies were collected from middle and high schools in six school districts, including student code of conduct, dress code, technology usage, diversity and inclusion, prevention practices, sex education, restorative justice practices, and student due process.

Participants will be engaged in the scoring of a sample policy while learning about best practices in violence prevention to develop the skills to assess local school policy. Participants will learn to: a) Systematically assess the needs and strengths of school policies to prevent and respond to violence. b) Understand the legislation that guides school policy development. c) Collaborate with schools to develop priorities for improvement of school policy based on best practices and community context. d) Provide technical assistance to schools in enhancing written school policy to reflect the value of diversity and inclusion among students, staff, and families.

The workshop will describe the process and results of the assessment of school policy and data sharing with schools. The workshop will also explore the challenges and lessons learned in conducting community-based collaborative research in K-12 schools during an ongoing pandemic and rapidly evolving political climate.

See more of: Workshops