Alternative Title

Exploring Hartford's youth exposure to community violence in a community-based agency

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type



School for Social Work


Youth and violence-Connecticut-Hartford, Violence-Psychological aspects, Children and violence-Psychological aspects, Social work with juvenile delinquents-Connecticut-Hartford, Juvenenie delinquents-Rehabilitiation, Community violence, Youth community violence, Youth exposure to community violence, Hartford, Clinician's feelings of helplessness, Addressing youth community violence, Micro and mezzo/macro level social work in community-based agency


The purpose of this study was to explore what clinicians and managers at a Hartford, Connecticut community-based mental health agency are doing to integrate an effective collaboration between micro, mezzo, and macro level interventions to help youth clients residing in Hartford build competent communities. Fellin, (as cited in Hardcastle, 2011) defined a competent community as “one that has the ability to respond to a wide range of member needs and solve its problems and challenges of daily living” (p.96). Given the increased rate of community violence in Hartford in 2015, this research is especially important because the majority of clients and families receiving services at the agency may have been traumatized by these occurrences.

Three focus group discussions were conducted for data collection. Data analysis was completed by observing patterns and/or themes in responses from participants. Clinicians and managers shared their perspectives of Hartford’s community violence and how this influences the clinical interventions used during sessions, as well as what they perceive their role to be in addressing a community wide issue.

Results of this study confirm that community violence is a widespread issue for Hartford youth. Clinicians’ and managers’ perspectives of this issue does influence their ideas about Hartford’s youth, and thus affect the clinical interventions they use (or don’t use) during sessions with clients. Findings also conclude that clinicians and managers assume variant advocacy and counseling positions in supporting youth from their position within the agency.




iii, 72 pages. M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma., 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-60)

Included in

Social Work Commons