198698 Girls violence in Philadelphia: A Community Assessment

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 12:30 PM

Marsha Zibalese-Crawford, DSW, MSW , School of Social Administration and Geography/Urban Studies Department, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Megan Welsh, MSW , School of Social Administration, Temple university, Philadelphia, PA
Little has been done to address the issues contributing to girl-committed violent crimes. The negative effects of an uninterrupted cycle of female adolescent violence include short- and long-term consequences: trauma and other mental health disorders, dropping out of school, incarceration, difficulty in relationships, and having children who are at increased risk for delinquency.

In 2008 we concluded a preliminary qualitative assessment for Philadelphia's Department of Human Services involving face-to-face interviews with 100 girls in the juvenile justice system and with 14 key informants knowledgeable about adolescent violence and involved in city-wide policy development. The assessment provided Philadelphia with first-time information to effectively reduce and prevent female youth violence. Findings suggest a need for local programming that goes far beyond replicating what is done for at-risk males:

• Address trauma in female-initiated violence;

• Train parents and mentors to provide age-appropriate advice and modeling for girls;

• Build formalized and improved connections between school, family, and specialists such as the truant officer and school nurse;

• Multi-faceted programming in the juvenile justice system for girls and focusing on integration into social and home environments.

This presentation will:

• Review the unique issues confronting girls in Philadelphia, specifically gaps in service, service accessibility, and barriers to access to programs.

• Illustrate the recent national increase in violent crimes committed by girls.

• Explore services available to girls nationwide and in Philadelphia.

• Describe the assessment process and recommendations for next steps.

• A step-by-step protocol for creating girl-specific programming.

Learning Objectives:
•Discuss the kinds of adverse and positive conditions faced by young females •Describe prevention and intervention approaches available for at-risk females •Identify the extent to which there is an expressed need for such programs (cognitive recognition) and the degree to which existing programs have been accessed (behavioral implementation •Exlain barriers to access to desired programs even when they are available and steps for positive outcomes to be obtained.

Keywords: Violence Prevention, Community Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

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