Document Type

Capstone Project (Campus-Only Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health and Human Services


Collaborative Health and Human Services


Through the United Way of Santa Cruz County, the Youth Violence and Prevention Task Force (YVPT) serves youth ages 10 to 24 to reduce and prevent youth violence. To address a need highlighted by the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team to more effectively reach youth aged 10 to 14 before they engage in risky behaviors, the YVPT implemented a three-phase research project to inform program development to enhance prevention work in the community. The first phase was a policy brief-style infographic titled Prevention Programming for MiddleSchool-age Youth in Santa Cruz County made to increase awareness for best practices for multi- sector programming and to promote prevention programming. Phase two was the Community Snapshot, a map created to display currently available services and programs open to middle school-age youth in Santa Cruz County. Phase three included focus groups with youth disengaged in and out of school to gain insight into their barriers and level of access to prosocial activities. All data collected was presented to the Criminal Justice Council and YVPT steering committee in the Fall of 2018. Continued sharing of data and the creation of a committee are next steps for YVPT. The infographic and Community Snapshot were posted to the website. It is recommended that the agency continue to present and build on the information gathered through this project to further increase awareness and action for more activities to be aimed at younger youth countywide.

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