The paper will discuss youth violence, which has been receiving professional attention especially in developed countries such as United States. This will entail how each of the three service delivery models will handle youth violence. These models include medical model, public health model and human services model. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2014), it refers to youth violence as, “harmful behaviors that can start early and continue into young adulthood.” It observes that the youth can be a casualty, wrongdoer or witness of the same. It goes further to explain that it involves different behaviors, which can be violent for example, bullying, slapping and hitting. Moreover, others can lead to severe injuries and death such as robbery and assault. The main objective in this case has been preventing violence hence the identification of a number of strategies.
With reference to the three models aforementioned, one can approach youth violence differently. The medical model, will view the youths in violence from an individual youth perspective. That is, any youth in need of assistance in this case called a patient, is ill or unhealthy for being a victim, offender or spectator. Therefore, s/he requires treatment that the service provider must give. (Woodside & McClam, 2011, p. 99) The service provider can be a medic, psychologist or/and law enforcement officer. In relation to public health model, the essay adopts the second approach where the mission of public health is to ensure, “physical and mental health and prevent disease, injury and disability.” (Woodside & McClam, 2011, p. 109) The goal of this model in youth violence will be to identify the strategies that will facilitate the youth’s well-being holistically, and counter any aspect that may lead to more violence. For instance, by educating the young people on livelihood and life skills, giving them opportunities to exploit their talents and abilities, and guiding and counseling them accordingly.
In the case of human service model, the conceptualization will be giving services to youths to enable them manage their problems. Its basis is problems are part of nature thus, we should expect them because they form part of the daily life as one interacts with the environment. (Woodside & McClam, 2011, p. 116) Therefore, in youth violence it will strive to build the capacity of youths and community as a means of mitigating this challenge. This is by incorporating life skills education in the formal and informal curricula as in schooling, training and sensitization programs. The coping skills will enable individuals to handle life challenges accordingly through proper self-conceptualization, interpersonal and decision-making skills.
Each model will have its strengths and weaknesses in dealing with youth violence. The medical model will emphasize on the individual youth hence any strategy to address youth violence will have to address youths’ individual needs. Especially if one is in need of physical medication or psychotherapy. However, this may be challenging in cases of mob justice because youths will be behaving as a group. The other difficulty is who will control the service delivery because the problem involves several stakeholders to handle it substantively. Will it be the medics, psychologists or law enforcement agents? (Woodside & McClam, 2011, p.105)
The public health model conceptualizes youth violence from a group perspective as people having specific problems and characteristics. In addition to acknowledging, it is because of malfunctions of the milieu or society. It also adopts an all-inclusive approach integrating all crucial tactics of preventing violence hence improves the present and future life of the youths. (Woodside & McClam, 2011, p.98-99) The major weakness with this model is that it calls for concerted efforts. Otherwise, the expected results may be a nightmare. For example, all the stakeholders including the youths must be actively involved in the youth violence mitigation plans.
The human service model recognizes both the individual youths and the environment they interact with hence relies on a balance of the two. Therefore, it borrows the principles of both the medical and public models. Moreover, it strives to equip the young people together with the community the knowledge and skills of addressing youth violence. This is through information provision as in teaching life skills to the youths and sensitizing the community on their role on the same. Therefore, there is active participation of all the stakeholders as regards any decision making on the problem. The main challenge with this model is that it requires regular review of strategies for sustainable results as problems keep on changing with time. For example, youth needs are diverse and change with time (Woodside & McClam, 2011, p.119-120)
When it comes to youth violence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in United States established the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), which is the federal institution that leads efforts of violence prevention. NCIPC has a division called The Division for Violence Prevention. The mission of the division is “to prevent injuries and deaths caused by violence.” and “is committed to stopping violence before it begins (i.e., primary prevention).” (CDC, 2014) To attain its objectives the CDC through the division it monitors violence related injuries, conducts research on factors influencing violence, evaluates the effectiveness of prevention programs and assists both state and local partners in identifying, developing, implementing and evaluating prevention programs. Therefore, the division has to utilize its findings from its respective researches to address all the issues of concern accordingly.
CDC. (2014, January 22). Injury Prevention and Control. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from Centers for Disease Control and Other Prevention (CDC).
Woodside, M. &. (2011). Chapter 4: Models of service delivery. In M. &. Woodside, An Introduction to Human Services 7th edition (pp. 97-125). U.S.A.