Strategies for Preventing Neighborhood Violence: Toward Bringing Collective Efficacy into Social Work Practiceedit
Neighborhood violence has profound effects on issues associated with social work practice, such as health, safety, and the positive development of children, youth, and families. This article brings together the literatures in criminology and public health that examine violence and social work’s history in community practice to develop violence prevention strategies. One important concept from the criminology and public health literatures is collective efficacy, defined as neighbors having shared values, trust, and a willingness to intervene in neighborhood problems. By building on the community practice literature and studies from peacemaking criminology, the article provides examples of ways that collective efficacy can be built and implemented in low income neighborhoods. Strategies include awareness of collective efficacy, relationship building, bystander education, and restorative justice.