Understanding Street Gangs From a Cultural Context

Jack Farrell, LCSW

Course Description:
Gangs have evolved into their own culture by establishing a historical pattern of beliefs, values, and norms that are transmitted from one generation to the next. This training will provide participants with insight into the impact of culture and intergenerational gang life on current gang life in the community. Participants will receive an overview of the relationship between violence and gangs in our communities, including the risk factors for gang involvement and common gang identifiers; develop understanding of the importance of community responsibility in addressing gang violence and gang involvement; and learn strategies for engaging family members and community providers in this process.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the evolution of gangs into their own culture
  2. List risk factors for gang involvement
  3. Understand and incorporate the impact of gang violence into client needs assessments
  4. Recognize the significance of PTSD and trauma informed care as it relates to treatment
  5. Identify strategies for engaging extended family members in the protection of children from gang involvement and gang violence in the community.

Presenter Bio:
John (Jack) W. Farrell holds an advanced degree in Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York. He is currently a consultant for the Rutgers School of Social Work. Previously, Mr. Farrell was a Program Analyst at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey as a Program Analyst for the University of Behavioral Healthcare – Violence Institute of New Jersey, and provided training on gangs and gang intervention for the Violence Institute of New Jersey. Mr. Farrell also provided case management services for the Rutgers University Police Institute’s Greater Newark Safer Cities Initiatives. Mr. Farrell serves on the Community Advisory Board of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. He has received many community, state and federal awards for his commitment to community service.

Date:   June 13, 2017  Time: 9:00am – 3:30pm
Location: Eisenhower Conference Center, Livingston, New Jersey
Registration and coffee/tea will take place between 9:00-9:30a.m. The workshop will begin promptly at 9:30a.m.


9:30-10:45am What is culture
History of gangs
Specifics of gang problems
Understanding the Code of the Streets
Street Violence
10:45-11:00am Morning Break
11:00am-12:30pm Gang Identification
3 R’s of gang culture
12:30-1:30pm Lunch on your own
1:30- 2:30pm Overview of Gangs
Bloods, Crips, Almighty Latin Kings and Queens, Females, Racial Supremacy
2:30-3:30pm Solutions and strategies to combat gangs
Protective factors for clients
Challenges for vulnerable youth
Recognizing Trauma Informed Care
Drama vs Stress

Continuing Education Credits: FAMILYConnections, Provider #1252, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. FAMILYConnections maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB ACE Approval Period: 01/10/2017 – 01/10/2020. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive 5.0 social and cultural competency continuing education clock hours.Target Audience:  Social Workers, Counselors, and other mental health professionals. This course is appropriate for beginner and intermediate level participants.

This course is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards – ASWB NJ CE Course Approval Program Provider #34 Course #1452 from 05/31/2017 to 05/31/2019. Social workers will receive the following credit: 5 hour(s) Social and Cultural Competence. 

FAMILYConnections, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6604. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Counselors will receive 5 CE hours.  FAMILYConnections is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

In accordance with ASWB guidelines, all participants must sign in and sign out and complete a course evaluation in order to receive CEs. Partial credit will not be given to those arriving late or leaving early. Certificates will be awarded to participants after they have signed out at the completion of the course.

Free registration will be open to staff of DMHAS-contracted mental health agencies and self-help centers until June 1, 2017. Cancellations must be made by June 8, 2017.

To register, please click here

Directions & Parking Information: Detailed directions and information will be sent to registrants in a confirmation email.

Facilities and Grievances: If you need accommodations for a disability, or would like to register a grievance, please contact Niki Stromko, Program Manager, at 973-323-3454 or by email at nstromko@familyconnectionsnj.org.

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