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"We Have the Power To Stop the Violence": A Process Evaluation of Cuyahoga County's Defending Childhood Initiative

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2015
67 pages
This report presents the findings, methodology, and recommendations of a process evaluation of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Defending Childhood Initiative (CCDCI), one of eight sites receiving grants under the U.S. Attorney General's Defending Childhood Demonstration Program, a grant program that promotes efforts to prevent and serve children being exposed to violence in their communities.
The process evaluation concludes that although there were barriers and challenges to implementing each program component of the CCDCI, it has the potential for becoming a model for a county-wide streamlined screening assessment and service system that systematically addresses children's exposure to violence. The high level of detail and sophistication in many of the strategies could provide other cities with a plan and guidance for replication; however, Cuyahoga County's pre-existing service infrastructure, interdisciplinary collaboration, and local research capacity may not exist in otherwise comparable cities. Coordinated by the Witness/Victim Service Center at Cuyahoga County's Department of Public Safety & Justice Services, the CCDCI created a county-wide streamlined screening, assessment, and service system for children ages 0-18 who have been exposed to violence and are experiencing trauma symptoms. In addition, two targeted evidence-based promising community-based programs were launched to prevent children's exposure to violence in high-risk neighborhoods. Community awareness and education programs were conducted to increase residents' awareness of the prevalence and harms of children's exposure to violence. Training programs were established to upgrade professionals' knowledge and skills regarding interventions for children exposed to violence. Tables, figures, and appended program materials

Date Published: June 1, 2015