The goal of Get IN Chicago is to disrupt the way youth violence is addressed. We work to better understand the issue of youth violence, test out new approaches, and identify solutions with a goal of sustainable change. Currently, Get IN Chicago supports and studies programs in the following areas:
Core program funding supports areas that research indicates as the most effective ways to prevent youth violence: mentoring, cognitive behavioral therapy, and parent leadership and engagement. More than half of Get IN Chicago funding supports core programming.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Youth at high risk for violence involvement may benefit from intensive treatment and therapy. Get IN Chicago funds cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) programs which use evidence-based models to promote pro-social behavior, reduce aggression, and increase impulse control.
- Mentoring: Mentoring programs use positive relationships with adults to make positive impacts in a young person’s life. Youth who have been involved in mentoring relationships tend to have better school attendance, academic performance, and social-emotional skills, and they are also less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like drug/alcohol use or violence.
- Parent Engagement/Leadership: Strengthening families is a cornerstone strategy to reducing youth violence and making communities safer. Adolescents are less likely to engage in risky behavior when their parents are involved in their lives. Research shows that emotional health improves, substance abuse drops, and academic achievement and attendance increase when children have engaged parents.
Get IN Chicago opened pilots for a small number of sports-based interventions in 2015, and we now recognize this category as a funding area. To receive funding, sports programs are required to be tied to a core program area and provide a minimum dosage of treatment.
A small number of 2015 technology pilots similarly provided alternative approaches to core programming, with programs mixing mentoring best practices with real-world technology skills, such as coding or Cisco certifications. Technology is currently regarded as a Get IN Chicago funding category.
Special Opportunity funding applies to promising programs such as restorative justice and workforce development. It also encompasses unique project announcements, including the Chicago Design Competition, Violence Response Initiative, Youth Shout Out, and, most recently, Community Collaboration and Resident Empowerment.
Special Opportunity funding allows Get IN Chicago to support promising innovative and collaborative approaches to violence reduction. Programs receiving Special Opportunity funding may not always require evidence-based curricula, but they should demonstrate a basis in research.
Technical Assistance funding is provided to projects with goals of strengthening nonprofit and community capacity. Our Technical Assistance funds support local organizations to improve systems of accountability and measurement, prepare for evaluation, increase sustainability, and expand their reach. Funds also support research projects to identify and gain insights into the needs of acutely high-risk youth and our focus communities.