Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Violence Prevention Initiative

Rationale / Objectives

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) suffered from pervasive acts of violence within its local community. The hospital saw the violence as an experience that has short and long term health consequences for a child. The hospital saw violence prevention as part of its mission. Their goal was to galvanize the hospital’s resources with comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable programs to directly address violence and improve the health and safety of children and their families in Philadelphia and across the country. Achieving this goal would interrupt the cycle of violence, thereby improving the well-being of the entire community.

Project/Program Description & Major Achievements

In 2013 CHOP adopted the Violence Prevention Initiative approach to address multiple levels of violence prevention. The hospital provides services to children and families in several settings: the hospital, schools and the community. The initiative’s signature programs included: Partners for Prevention (P4P), Free2B, Children’s and Mom’s Project (CAMP) and Violence Intervention Program (VIP). All interventions were planned in accordance with evidence-based best practices and were based in trauma-informed care with the basic tenet that previous traumatic experiences may affect how a patient responds to current treatment and outreach. The CHOP succeeded in addressing violence from multiple angles and influenced policy and advocacy efforts. The participants in the school bullying prevention programs have shown a decrease in aggressive behaviors and improved problem solving skills, findings that were maintained a year after the program ended.

Decreasing violence has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of care and to ultimately stabilize communities. Cost savings were estimated at $82,765 (narrowest model) to $4,055,873 (broadest model). 1 2

Lessons Learned

The Violence Prevention Initiative at CHOP emphasized the importance of closely collaborating with schools, students, parents, teachers, its own network of clinicians, and community-based violence prevention to develop programs that are effective. By combining research, programming, staff training, community outreach and information dissemination, the CHOP was able to address violence from multiple angles and influence policy and advocacy efforts. 1 2

Further Description

The Violence Prevention initiative of CHOP includes: Partners for Prevention (P4P) An intensive bullying prevention program for youth in grades three through five in select Philadelphia public schools, with a 20-session classroom component helping students learn important problem-solving, perspective-taking and anger-management skills. The program also supports teachers, lunchtime supervisors, school staff and parents to reinforce anti bullying strategies. P4P is a collaborative partnership with teachers to transition the program over to schools. Free2B A one-day bullying prevention and conflict resolution program for middle school students. It is the result of a partnership between researchers from the Violence Prevention Initiative and multimedia technology experts from Life Changing Experiences. This program is combined with a six-week, evidence-based curriculum for teachers to enforce lessons learned in students’ classrooms. The hospital calls this approach the “next generation” of evidence-based public health education. Children’s and Mom’s Project (CAMP) A multi-institutional collaborative effort in Philadelphia providing clinician support to screen for intimate partner violence, identifying families experiencing domestic violence and minimizing the adverse effects of violence. CAMP aims to foster a culture where asking about intimate partner violence and providing the appropriate response are ingrained within the system of care. Violence Intervention Program (VIP) Provides wraparound social services and case management for assault-injured youth. Case managers work with hospitalized youth at the children’s hospital following a violent incident, providing trauma-informed services and continued involvement for six months to one year after their young clients are discharged. 1

Major Achievements

Innovative partnerships, such as Free2B, might be one pathway for scaling up effective bullying prevention strategies. The Violence Intervention Program for assault-injured youth treated at the hospital is building on previous research into the effectiveness of intensive case management for victims of violence. The hospital worked closely with the Philadelphia community to assess how this program was helping reduce hospital recidivism and promoting positive youth development. Decreasing violence has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of care and to ultimately stabilize communities. Cost savings at the base effect estimate of 25% ranged from $82,765 (narrowest model) to $4,055,873 (broadest model). 1 2

Metric Result Detail
Cost Savings   25%   (ranged from$ 82,765 to $4,055,873)    2
Hospital recidivism Reduced  1
Positive youth  development Increased  1