To help curb high rates of violence, the Defending Childhood Initiative in Cuyahoga County in Ohio strived to transform the community by increasing awareness of and responses to childhood exposure to violence, developing trauma-informed policies and procedures, and expanding treatment and prevention services to children and their families. Cuyahoga County developed an innovative screening tool that measures trauma and violence exposure for youth screened in public, private, and community-based organizations. Some program highlights include:
- Training over 1,102 individuals representing multiple agencies participating in various aspects of the service system; conducting screening in juvenile justice & child welfare and multiple child serving agencies with over 14,000 children screened for violence victimization and trauma throughout Cuyahoga County.
- Providing 1,302 children with evidence-based, trauma-informed care as a result of their reported exposure to violence and trauma.
- Helping 71 children receive a crisis response because they were at imminent risk of harming themselves or others.
- Encouraging 30 families to participate in prevention programming such as Adults & Children Together.