Impact of a Comprehensive Whole Child Intervention and Prevention Program Among Youths at Risk of Gang Involvement and Other Forms of Delinquency

Koffman, S., Ray, A., Berg, S., Covington, L., Albarran, N. M., & Vasquez, M. (2009). Impact of a comprehensive whole child intervention and prevention program among youths at risk of gang involvement and other forms of delinquency. Children & Schools, 31(4), 239-245.

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Youths in gang-ridden neighborhoods are at risk for trauma-related mental health disorders, which are early indicators of likely school failure and delinquency. Such youths rarely seek out services for these problems. The Juvenile Intervention and Prevention Program (JIPP), a school-based gang intervention and prevention program in Los Angeles, targets at-risk students by using a systemic, whole child approach—a holistic perspective in which all aspects of a child are treated and supported. JIPP instills positive change in students' behavior, academic performance, and family interactions and builds psychosocial and emotional coping skills. The program takes into consideration three macro areas of the students' lives: family, education, and community. These macro areas are broken down into four micro areas of intervention: psychosocial-emotional, academic, biobehavioral, and family system support. These four micro areas are supported with specific interventions designed to address the whole child. The macro goal is to provide clear, coherent, and supportive interventions that will enable students to experience success in school, in the home, and in the community. The micro goals are to reduce suspension rates, behavioral referrals, dropout rates, truancy, and gang activity.