New collaboration develops city's first Youth and Family Violence Prevention Plan

Posted at 5:00 PM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 18:08:32-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One collaboration is taking a new approach to prevent violence in the Kansas City area.

It’s called the Youth and Family Violence Prevention Plan, and it's the first of its kind here in Kansas City, Missouri.

It’s a collaboration with the KCMO Health Department and the Prevention Institute.

“We surveyed over a third of the country's largest cities and they found that the cities with the greatest level of coordination across sectors had the lowest rates of violence. So that was a clue to us where to start,” Prevention Institute Program Director Lisa Parks said.

On Wednesday, several violence prevention organizations and community and school leaders gathered at the KCMO Health Department to talk about their roles within the community and to talk about the plan.

“This is the first time that all of these sectors are coming together to create a cohesive strategic plan to prevent multiple forms of violence using a public health approach,” Parks said.

The goal is to develop a plan to reduce violence that impacts children and families in the area by working with multiple sectors.

“And it’s not just a plan that sits and collects dust, but something that is living, breathing and really producing results,” Deputy Director of Health Tracie Mcclendon-Cole said.

Working with people from various sectors, McClendon-Cole said it’s treating violence as a preventable health issue.

“This is a policy document that will help guide not only the actions that we do but where we put our resources and allocate our money,” she said. “I think in terms of Kansas City, we have supported many different activities both within the government as well within the community, but never have we really aligned our resources to support one initiative, one focus, one Kansas City.”

She said one of the first issues to address is trauma.

“It's not something that's just an individual problem. It's not just something that's a zip code over here's problem, it's everyone's problem,” she said. “So not just focusing on the individual, but what is the community level trauma after each and every violent incident across multiple sectors.”

McClendon-Cole said the next step in this planning process is setting up focus groups in the community. If you’re interested in learning more about this prevention plan and sharing your input, click here.