Addressing the Needs of Children Exposed to Violence by Integrating Practice, Policy and Research

The primary goal this work is to better understand how community organizations use research to inform decisions about programs and practices designed to reduce children’s exposure to violence.

Megan Bair-Merritt is an associate professor of pediatrics at Boston Medical Center where she serves as the medical director for the Child Witness to Violence Program and the director of a research-focused training program for physicians. Bair-Merritt will spend one quarter of her time over two years participating in the daily activities of a national nonprofit violence advocacy organization, Futures Without Violence. Futures develops and implements community-based violence prevention programs and provides technical assistance to eight sites awarded grants from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to develop strategic plans for comprehensive community-based prevention efforts. Bair-Merritt will work closely with the Director of Children’s Programs to provide technical assistance to two of those eight communities. She will shadow practitioners involved in the initiative, attend national gatherings, facilitate across-site groups, summarize progress reports from communities that have formed networks of services, and review strategic planning efforts. On a less frequent basis, Bair-Merritt will assist the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at Futures Without Violence, in preparing policy proposals to prevent and respond to violence. She will also assemble coalitions to support this work.

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