How Do We Tell What Stops the Violence?

With the rush to stop the violence, there’s a rush for solutions.


But how do we know what works?


How do we single out the youth programs that succeed, and the ones that we need here and now?


We’ll try to answer these questions at our workshop from 10 am to 11:30 Tuesday, June 11 at 618 S. Michigan, Stage Two, Columbia College.


Here, for example, are some things to consider from Norman Kerr.


He is a veteran social worker who has long dealt with troubled youths and is a former CeaseFire staffer. He is now the head of the Chicagoland Institute for Transforming Youth at UCAN.


What make a good program?


“So many times people are so wrapped trying to be unique that they avoid some of the things are out there already. You have to look at who they are serving. One of the things we’ve learned is that you have to make sure they are serving the kids they say they do?”


What kinds of problems do they run into?


“Some groups aren’t able to sustain their programs. Some of this has to do with the leadership and of it with the managers.”


What statistics – what numbers – what details do you look for?


“You want to get deep. You want to know where the kids were before and was the progress and how they measure the progress.”


What kinds of youth programs are we lacking?


“There are not enough employment opportunities. There’s no enough mental health support and there’s not enough support for substance abuse, for sure.”


How about mental health? What are the problems in providing support?


“Communities aren’t really connected to mental health because there’s a stigma. What is really needed are different approaches to how you provide mental health….People will acknowledge that mental health is really important, but some organizations are not going to expand the work they do to include it.”


Join us for our discussion on Tuesday about what are the solutions for Chicago’s violence and what exists now.


Steve Franklin, office 312 369 6400, cell 773 595 8667,


photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz



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