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Building a Safer Tomorrow: A Process Evaluation of Grand Forks County's Defending Childhood Initiative

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2015
62 pages
This report presents the findings, methodology, and recommendations from the process evaluation of the Grand Forks (North Dakota) Safer Tomorrows Defending Childhood Initiative (STDCI), one of the eight sites receiving grants under the U.S. Attorney General's Defending Childhood Demonstration Program, a grant program that promotes preventing and serving children exposed to violence.
STDCI had the primary goal of implementing universal prevention programming in Grand Forks County schools. The process evaluation concludes that this large-scale effort to prevent children's exposure to violence can serve as a model for other communities of similar size that have the support of the local school system in the effort to prevent children's exposure to violence. The prevention program was delivered to all students in public, private, and rural schools (pre-kindergarten through high school), regardless of whether the students had been previously exposed to violence or were at risk of such exposure. The programming addressed various forms of violence, including bullying and dating violence. Strategies were taught for preventing each type of violence, and guidance was provided in the development of healthy positive relationships and improving personal social-emotional health. Although prevention programming in the county's schools was the major feature of STDCI, other services provided included trauma-informed treatment for children exposed to violence and child advocacy services. A community awareness campaign was also conducted that included a variety of messages about children's exposure to violence. The messages were delivered though television, radio, bus wraps, billboards, and social media posts. Child -serving and youth-serving professionals received specialized training on topics related to children's exposure to violence and trauma. Tables, figures, and appended programming details and sample materials

Date Published: June 1, 2015