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LAST Monthly Issue

This, the May issue, is the final monthly publication of the regular National Forum newsletter. Beginning in July, DSG will publish an online newsletter: Youth Violence Prevention News, on a quarterly basis. This site will have designated space for each OJJDP YVP initiative, as well as a federal page, a communities of practice page, and a multimedia page with a Twitter Corner that updates constantly. DSG will provide more information about YVP News and its launch at the Fifth National Summit, June 27–29, 2016.

TTA Theme This Month

The April–May Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) topic is children exposed to violence/trauma.


Screening for Children Exposed to Violence in Portland, Maine

OJJDP Reinforces New Training and Technical Assistance Structure

Overcoming Community Trauma

Funding Opportunities and Coming Events

News and Notes

by Bass Zanjani

Training and technical assistance (TTA) provide practical resources for the 39 youth violence prevention grantee sites. They can help you find operational efficiencies. They can help you develop or expand policy frameworks, on topics as wide ranging as financing and gun violence. They increase your capacity to decrease youth violence.

For more than a year, Development Services Group, Inc. (DSG), has been the TTA provider for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) three youth violence prevention initiatives: the National Forum, Community-Based Violence Prevention (CBVP), and the Defending Childhood initiative. During this time, we have provided many of you with a wide range of informational and policy-related technical assistance (TA), in addition to peer-to-peer and onsite TA.

Throughout this process, the DSG team has become better acquainted with your work, your successes and challenges, your personnel changes, and your new initiatives. Relationships with some of you have blossomed, and the older relationships have deepened. The exchange of information and ideas excites us continually.

We want to keep the momentum going.

A network doesn’t become a network overnight. As our regular conference calls, the evolution of our monthly newsletter, and last year’s National Summit and Fall Convening attest, the process is well under way. Now it’s time for the youth violence prevention network to the next level.


New Report Offers Framework for Overcoming Community Trauma

by Ali Goodyear

Many communities working to prevent violence and promote community safety are making progress through comprehensive, multisector actions. Even so, communities that experience high rates of violence continue to be plagued with persistently high rates of trauma, which can be a barrier to successfully putting healing and well-being strategies into action.

Violence and other adverse community experiences contribute to trauma. Though trauma is typically understood as an individual experience, the impacts of trauma extend beyond individuals to the entire community. Within communities, trauma is expressed as a breakdown in trust, social isolation, or deteriorated public spaces. But as with trauma in individuals, untreated trauma in communities results in poor health outcomes.



by Marla Fogelman

“We can’t help children who have experienced trauma… if we don’t know who they are.”

—from the Portland Defending Childhood Screening Initiative

Childhood exposure to violence (CEV), a public health crisis that has left its mark on roughly two out of every three children in the United States,1 damages not only the psyches of those children but also their growth and development. As multiple studies have indicated, when children are subjected to severe or repeated abuse or violence—especially during such critical, developmental periods as infancy and early childhood—they may experience real and toxic changes in their brain architecture.2 These changes can then disrupt their ability to progress through normal milestones and grow into healthy, well-functioning adults.

But despite the destabilizing and detrimental effects of CEV—as well as its prevalence—a groundbreaking, evidence-informed, screening initiative by Portland (Maine) Defending Childhood (PDC) is providing a first-line strategy for helping pinpoint and thus mitigate CEV’s impact. In November 2015, PDC in partnership with Maine Medical Center rolled out a pediatric screening program to identify those children and youths who may have experienced trauma as a result of being exposed to violence, and to give them and their families the help they need.

Portland (Maine) Defending Childhood’s Rebecca Brown facilitates a training.
Portland (Maine) Defending Childhood’s Rebecca Brown facilitates a training on childhood exposure to violence, in April 2005, to federal prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Maine, in Portland.



Wanted: New Youth Violence Prevention Sites
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is seeking applicants from localities that will embrace integration of the strategies and approaches of OJJDP’s three youth violence prevention (YVP) initiatives (the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, Defending Childhood, and the Community-Based Violence Prevention Program) to achieve well-being and positive outcomes, and also from existing YVP grantees that wish to enhance their efforts. Applications are due June 21. Visit ‪here.

OJJDP Announces Five Funding Opportunities

National Summit at Baltimore Hilton; Check Your Mail
You may already have received an invitation to the Fifth National Summit on Preventing Youth Violence, to take place June 27–29, at the Baltimore Hilton, in Baltimore, Md.

Nat’l Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, May 5
The ‪2016 National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day) is Thursday, May 5. This year’s theme, “Finding Help, Finding Hope,” will explore how communities can increase access to behavioral health services and supports for children, adolescents, and young adults who experience mental or substance use disorders and their families.


Disease Control Center Publishes Best Practices on Reducing Violence
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect: A Technical Package for Policy, Norm, and Programmatic Activities, a collection of strategies that represent the best available evidence to prevent or reduce public health problems such as violence.

CDC Releases Resource to Stop Sexual Violence
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week released Stop SV: A Technical Package to Prevent Sexual Violence. The resource is intended for states and communities.
Contact Us
Send questions or feedback about the newsletter to Bass Zanjani, Project Director, OJJDP’s Youth Violence Prevention Technical Assistance Program, at or Bass Zanjani, project director, at 301–951–0056. If you haven’t already, subscribe.

Looking for a particular article? You can read past issues of the newsletter here.
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The National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention Newsletter is prepared under Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Cooperative Agreement No. 2014–MU–MU–K021 with Development Services Group, Inc. The views, opinions, and content of this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of OJJDP.