July 17, 2020

Youth violence is a public health crisis affecting one of our most vulnerable populations. 

In 2014, the rate of homicide among youths in Richmond was nearly four times the national average. In response to the alarming numbers, Healthy Communities for Youth was created as a community-based intervention that focuses on youth violence prevention and education with at-risk neighborhoods within Richmond. 

Healthy Communities for Youth is a collaboration between the Center on Society and Health, the Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development at Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as community partners across Richmond.  

The project uses the Communities that Care (CTC) model, which engages the community to use data to help them understand youth violence prevention and identify, implement, and evaluate multiple evidence-based activities and strategies. 

In addition to the CTC model, the research team added the Walker Talker and Community Conversation, also known as Plain Talk, approaches. This directs that the project maintains a community outreach worker who works with the community to communicate information regarding positive development opportunities for youth and ways to reduce youth risk.

The combination of the two methods is called CTC PLUS. 

Additionally, this project monitors youth violence rates and characteristics in the city of Richmond. The data is intended to assist policymakers, community activists, and researchers. 

To learn more about Healthy Communities for Youth, the CTC PLUS model, and access data sheets on youth violence in Richmond, visit the Clark-Hill website.