Get IN Chicago’s work with 60+ antiviolence organizations is shaping a collective response to youth violence by agencies across the city. In particular, our efforts have revealed the need to increase understanding of youth risk level.

While most antiviolence programs work with at-risk youth, it’s important to note that ‘at-risk’ does not always mean ‘at-risk of violence.’  For example, a teenager living in a high-crime neighborhood or struggling academically may be at-risk of not graduating high school or finding employment.  Their risk of violence is lower than a young person with a previous arrest for gun possession. Moreover, even youth ‘at-risk of violence’ are not monolithic. A young person with prior justice-involvement for petty offenses has different needs than a young adult with previous involvement in violent crime.

Serving our youth requires crafting different responses to meet these varied needs.  Depending on which youth a community-based organization focuses on, different program types and intensities are necessary – ranging from tutoring to therapy to soft skills and everything in between.

Get IN Chicago Youth Risk Level 2018

Get IN Chicago is dedicated to prevention services for acutely high-risk youth, or those most likely to become involved in gun violence. These youth are often chronically truant, in contact with the juvenile justice system, disconnected from school and work, and live overwhelmingly in communities on the south and west side. Strengthening Youth through a Network of Care (SYNC) is our strategic response to provide this group with their most-needed services in an effective, coordinated, and holistic way and prevent their involvement in gun violence.

Many young people in our city need support – they just don’t all need the same type of support. Determining where our different agencies, organizations, and communities can align efforts and create a service continuum to reach all of them effectively is a critical first step.