Safer Tomorrows Data Initiative

The Community Violence Intervention Center is leading the data initiative. The data initiative has three primary objectives: (1) measure prevalence of children’s exposure to violence (CEV) in the community; (2) assess strengths and gaps in our systemic response, informing our direction regarding policy, training, services and public awareness efforts; and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of Safer Tomorrows Project initiatives and activities.

Data Collection, Analysis, and Evaluation

To expand the existing baseline data on the local prevalence of CEV provided in the 2011 Safer Tomorrows Needs and Resources Assessment, additional data from five years prior to the project has been collected and analyzed, establishing a comprehensive baseline to demonstrate the prevalence of CEV and examine possible trends prior to the implementation of the Safer Tomorrows initiatives. Aggregate data is being collected from key partners, and trends are being monitored to identify indicators of system gaps and strengths in responding to juvenile victims and witnesses of violence. Comprehensive data reports are provided to relevant stakeholders for further analysis and use in strategizing system improvements. These reports are provided every six months to the stakeholder committee to review and further address potential issues.

Data will also be collected to evaluate the effectiveness of each initiative and the project as a whole. Project staff shares this data and works closely with the U.S. Department of Justice Defending Childhood Initiative’s cross-site evaluators at the New York City-based Center for Court Innovation.  The federal evaluators assist the local team in data collection and analysis efforts, with the ultimate goal of evaluating the progress of all of the Defending Childhood demonstration sites. A community phone survey was completed in Grand Forks County (and in the other demonstration site communities) prior to the implementation of the project initiatives and will be conducted again at the end of the project term in order to evaluate any changes in community awareness of CEV, available resources and services, and the Safer Tomorrows Project.

Ultimately, the data analysis and evaluation process aims to enhance professional and community understanding of issues surrounding CEV to be used in addressing system gaps, improving responses to children, youth and families, and preventing and reducing the impact of CEV in Grand Forks County. Knowledge gained on effective strategies for addressing CEV will be shared with other communities to promote positive outcomes for children across the nation.