About The Center

The Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP) is devoted to studying the causes and consequences of youth violence to inform the development and testing of prevention interventions to support children, youth and families living in high burden urban communities.

Since 2005, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers at the CCYVP have been committed to studying and preventing violence in Chicago communities. There is no simple or single answer to eliminating youth violence. The Center approaches the multifaceted problem of youth violence by providing programs targeted at children and families at different developmental ages and with youth at varying levels of associated risk and involvement. Center efforts are coordinated with the social systems that have the most direct influence on youth throughout development – families, schools, community agencies, and justice. Within each of the three core aims, the CCYVP is committed to training the next generation of youth violence prevention scholars, coordinating training and education activities across sites and academic disciplines. Professor & Dean of The University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice Deborah Gorman-Smith is the Principal Investigator and director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention.

The primary aims of CCYVP are: 

1. To understand the nature and causes of youth violence, bringing together a coalition of community, policy and academic partners. 

2. To design and test prevention interventions, evaluating the process and impact of these interventions in high-risk, urban communities, and identifying the unique challenges and adaptations necessary for implementation in urban neighborhoods. 

3. To partner with the community, providing training and technical assistance to build capacity for schools and community agencies to select, implement and evaluate evidence-based interventions. CCYVP also evaluates and informs current policy strategies aimed at reducing youth and other forms of violence, evaluates the most promising interventions within the community, and uses these data to inform policy and practice.