Latino Youth Gangs Prevention in the School System

Gang members contribute to a large portion of overall violence in society. In many US cities, gang members commit more than half of violent offenses. Young gang membership is prevalent in the US and is associated with serious violent offenses and victimization. Youth gang membership elevates the risk of various negative, potentially long-term social and health consequences. The National Gang Intelligence Center has indicated that approximately 50% of US gang members identify as Hispanic/Latinx. This poses a great threat to schools because the gap in adequate resources has a cascading effect on under-resourced school systems, leading to low education attainment and enrollment among youth. These shared risk factors create a conducive environment for establishing a strong gang culture for protection, financial security, and belonging, putting school systems at the forefront of prevention.

The training on youth gangs will bring forward the opportunity to dive into some important details regarding gang joining, involvement, and prevention factors.

Training Objectives

  1. Participants will develop and understanding of how historical, socio-political, and geographic interact to create targeted disadvantages and impact mental health.
  2. Participants will be able to describe why adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the influence of gangs.
  3. Participants will be able to identify at least two systemic factors contributing to the risk or protective factors for gang involvement.
  4. Participants will be able to describe at least 3 strategies for working with at-risk youth or active in a gang.

By invitation only. Space is limited. 

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Scott Bloom, LCSW-R, is the Director of Special Projects and Initiatives for the New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center. He has spent his 31-year career at the intersection of mental health, communities, and schools working to improve access to social-emotional services and resources by integrating these programs, and creating opportunities for children and youth to overcome emotional and behavioral barriers to academic achievement. He was the founding Director of School Mental Health Services for the New York City Department of Education for the last 15 years, facilitating community partnerships and implementing mental health initiatives building on a city-wide system of mental health services and resources in over 1,800 city schools; enabling schools to better serve the needs of 1.2 million students and families. He serves on the advisory boards for multiple cities, state, and national mental health initiatives around the country. Mr. Bloom has contributed to journals, magazines, and books, and has presented at local and national conferences. Mr. Bloom has certification as a psychotherapist.

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Speaker: Kristin M. Scardamalia, Ph.D., LSSP

Kristin Scardamalia, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine National Center for School Mental Health. She has extensive experience working with high-needs youth and their families as a school psychologist in public schools and juvenile services. Her research focuses on the intersection of the education, juvenile justice, and mental health systems and their contribution to the disproportionate number of minorities impacted by the school to prison pipeline.

Starts: Mar 21, 2023 9:00 am
Ends: Mar 22, 2023 4:00 pm
Registration Deadline
March 20, 2023
Event Type
Face-to-Face Training
Hosted by
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