Mentoring Pediatric Victims of Interpersonal Violence Reduces Recidivism

Angela Lumba-Brown, Margie Batek, Pamela Choi, Martin Keller, Robert Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Pediatric interpersonal violence is a public health crisis resulting in morbidity and mortality and recidivism. St. Louis City and surrounding areas have the highest rates of youth interpersonal violence nationally. St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH) Social Work in conjunction with Pediatric Emergency Medicine established a novel emergency department (ED)–initiated program to determine whether co-location of services followed by outpatient mentoring reduced the rate of morbidity, mortality, and recidivism in youths experiencing interpersonal violence. SLCH developed the “Empowering Youth Through Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program,” co-locating initial social work services and emergency medical services in the pediatric ED. Youths, ages 8 to 17 years, presenting for interpersonal violence were approached for immediate social work counseling and subsequent individualized outpatient mentoring, developed from national best practices and model programs. A prospective 2:1 randomized, controlled pilot study assessing for youth morbidity, mortality, and recidivism was conducted for program service feasibility from 2012 to 2014. The study was followed by a 1-year retrospective analysis of program service integration as a hospital standard-of-care evaluating the same outcome measures. Of the 24 youths who participated in the pilot study and received the intervention, there was a 4% rate of morbidity and recidivism. Conversely, there was a 3.4% rate of mortality, 6.7% rate of morbidity, and 11.8% recidivism rate in those who refused to participate in services. EYIPP was offered as a service from 2014 to 2015 and 57 youths participated with a 3.5% rate of both morbidity and recidivism. During this time, 78 eligible youths declined services with a 1.1% rate of morbidity, and 2.3% recidivism rate. This novelprogram reduces recidivism, morbidity, and mortality in youths presenting to SLCH for interpersonal violence-related injuries suggesting that co-location of social services in the ED, followed by individualized mentoring may be important for engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4262-4275
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number21-22
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • community violence
  • emergency department
  • violent offenders
  • youth violence


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