Preventing Violence

Outside of the hospital walls, Lurie Children's is working to prevent violence in Chicago.

Why this needs our attention

The epidemic of violence in Chicago has raised concern not just locally, but across the nation and even internationally.

At Lurie Children's, we are particularly troubled by the impact that violence has on children. Not only are far too many children and youth injured by violence—it takes a toll on children's overall health and long-term well-being. Parents in neighborhoods with high levels of violence are afraid to let their children go outside to play, children are traumatized by the all-too-frequent sound of gunfire, and children lose family members and friends to death and to prison.

What Lurie Children's is doing to address it

Strengthening Chicago's Youth (SCY) serves as a catalyst for innovative ideas to prevent violence. We can make our city safer by investing in children and youth, ensuring access to mental health services, adopting common sense approaches to gun violence prevention, improving the justice system, and strengthening communities.

SCY works with community-based organizations, health care and mental health providers, advocates, researchers, and others to spread strategies that are working and develop promising new strategies. Within Lurie Children's, SCY partners with the Illinois Violent Death Reporting System, which provides a source of data to inform violence prevention policy and practice, and collaborates with the Center for Childhood Resilience to make sure that organizations and systems are more trauma-informed.


  • SCY has over 4,000 violence prevention partners from across the city and suburbs
  • SCY manages the Juvenile Justice Collaborative, which helps young people who are arrested avoid further involvement with the justice system, and links them with access to community services that make the most sense for them
  • SCY hosts close to 15 training and educational events each year, that are attended by over 1,000 partners
  • SCY recently conducted a study to engage community organizations and residents in research to reduce violence in Chicago (and their own communities)


Rebecca Levin, MPH
Executive Director, Strengthening Chicago's Youth