Youth Peer Support Groups on Violence

Through the Center for Violence Prevention (CVP), Violence Intervention Program (VIP) at CHOP, youth and program staff can access group models to build their individual resilience after an assault injury or as a result of providing trauma-informed services to youth coping with violent injury.

Peer Support
Peer-facilitated groups connecting through art

Building Resilience After A Violent Event (BRAVE)

Through BRAVE, VIP provides psycho-educational peer groups for youth ages 13-18 who have experienced violence. The groups promote healing and foster development of positive emotion regulation. The group curriculum was first introduced in 2015 to provide:

  • Psycho-education around trauma and trauma symptoms
  • Coping skills to reduce post-traumatic stress
  • A safe space for youth to express their concerns and receive support from their peers

BRAVE is a 10 session group intervention model that builds on youth’s individual strengths and resilience through age-appropriate skill building activities and group therapy. Sessions are facilitated by peer mentors, who receive support and supervision from Masters-trained clinicians.

With support from Kohl's Cares®, CHOP CVP has expanded BRAVE to two concurrent groups three times per year.

kohls cares

Peer Mentors

CHOP’s VIP employs a Peer Mentor model, in which youth who have graduated from the program can take on a leadership role and help facilitate BRAVE groups. Peer mentors serve as strong role models for current program participants, and acknowledge the need for healthy and positive relationships for adolescents.

We believe that youth find meaning in working closely with Peer Mentors who have overcome similar adversity and have found healing through our Violence Intervention Program (VIP). Similarly, our Peer Mentors value the opportunity to provide hope and encouragement to other youth through mentorship.

Stress-Less Initiative

The Stress-Less Initiative is a group model facilitated by the VIP clinical supervisor to help our program staff and trainees maintain their own health while they provide trauma-informed care to violently injured youth and their families.

First implemented in 2015, Stress-Less provides a safe space for staff and trainees to share how violence intervention work affects them individually, and offers a way to provide support and encouragement to one another.

Each group session begins with a learning opportunity that addresses individual strengths and resiliency. Team members share responsibility for introducing new resiliency activities to the group and encourage one another to regularly practice these new skills in an effort to address vicarious trauma and staff-burnout.

Interested in implementing Stress-Less on your own team? Click here to learn more.