Youth Violence Prevention Programs

Research has been done on effective strategies for youth violence prevention, across a continuum of prevention (from early intervention to treatment and support).

Access to evidence-based youth violence prevention programs that fit within this continuum is at your fingertips through the following collections of programs for violence and crime prevention.

What Do We Mean by Evidence-Based?

There are many different terms currently being used to represent the idea of "evidence-based" programming and strategies for various health and social interventions.

Different organizations that conduct reviews of programs sometimes use different terms. Also, they may be using different criteria to determine what is "evidence-based" or what they deem to be a "model", "promising", "effective" or "ineffective" program. It is always a good idea to review an organization's methods and criteria for how programs are categorized.

Another important consideration is that sometimes there is "insufficient evidence" for a program or strategy. This does not automatically mean that it is not effective; it simply means that there is not enough evidence or evaluation done at the present time to make any conclusions. There is still room for new ideas or innovative programs to be piloted, so long as they are evaluated to determine their effectiveness and return on investment.

Please see our Glossary of Terms for a full listing of terms related to evidence-based practice.

Should your agency be considering a program and you wish to discuss it or require more information, please feel free to contact us at

Canadian Resources

Public Health Agency of Canada Best Practice Portal

The Best Practice Interventions section of the Portal contains a searchable list of prevention and health promotion interventions which provide practitioners with easy and immediate access to successful programs, interventions and policies that have been evaluated and have the potential to be adapted and used. Violence is now a featured topic. The Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet) has systematically reviewed violence prevention programs from around the world to identify 38 effective interventions.

Review the methodology that was used to select and describe interventions in the Best Practice Interventions Section.

Public Safety Canada's National Crime Prevention Centre (NCPC)

The National Crime Prevention Centre's (NCPC) mission is to "provide national leadership on effective and cost-efficient ways to prevent and to reduce crime by addressing risk factors in high risk populations and places". The NCPC supports targeted crime prevention practices and builds and shares practical knowledge. It recommends that crime prevention practices be integrated with the activities of existing community programs and services, build on the knowledge of risk and protective factors, and use evidence-based practices.

International Resources

Blueprints for Violence Prevention, Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado

Blueprints for Violence Prevention is a project of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado. Its mission is to identify outstanding violence and drug prevention programs that meet a high scientific standard of effectiveness.

The research on violence and drug abuse programs is systematically and continuously reviewed to determine which are model or promising programs and grounded in evidence.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Guide to Community Preventive Services - Violence Prevention Focused on Youth

The Guide to Community Preventive Services is a free resource developed by the CDC in the United States to help professionals choose programs and policies to improve health and prevent disease in the community. Systematic reviews are conducted to answer questions such as:

  • Which program and policy interventions have been proven effective?
  • Are there effective interventions that are right for my community?
  • What might effective interventions cost? What is the likely return on investment?

Review the presentation that summarizes all of the systematic reviews that were completed on the effectiveness of violence prevention interventions for children and youth.

Learn more about the methods used by the CDC to conduct the systematic reviews.

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