What works: Improving outcomes for children of gang-involved parents

What works: Improving outcomes for children of gan…
22 Jun 2015

This paper presents what we know about interventions and strategies to improve outcomes for children with gang-involved parents.


Key Results

There is little evidence on child outcomes associated with having gang-involved parents and a lack of evaluations for initiatives.

Children of gang-involved parents are considered at risk of negative social outcomes. At present we cannot conclude, based on the research, that having a gang-involved parent is an independent risk factor. However, it is likely that children growing up in a gang-involved family are exposed to known risk factors. The literature suggests that having a gang-involved parent may place children at greater risk for child abuse and neglect, exposure to violence between parents, falling out of mainstream education, entering the youth justice system and joining a gang themselves.

Further research is needed to increase our understanding of the risk factors for children associated with growing up in a gang household as well as the long-term implications. We also need to develop evidence-based initiatives for this group of children aimed at improving outcomes for them, as well as outcome evaluations of existing initiatives.

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