Boone County News Release

Press Archives Press Room

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Joanne Nelson
Director, Boone County Community Services Department
Phone: (573) 886-4298

Boone County Community Services Department Releases Report on Youth Perspectives of Community Violence

October 16, 2020 – Boone County Community Services Department (BCCSD) is pleased to announce the release of Voices for Collective Impact: Honoring Youth Perspectives, a report based on research conducted in early 2020 about youth needs and perspectives around community needs. Youth focus groups were originally conducted by BCCSD staff to better plan for the Voices for Collective Impact: Youth Violence Prevention Conference, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Youth shared their perspectives on educational systems, mental illness, identity-based experiences and community level issues, as well as their ideas for solutions to some identified problems and concerns within the community. Youth expressed the desire to be heard, valued, and included in decision-making about things which directly affect them.

The Boone County Children’s Services Board (BCCSB) offers programmatic, policy, and community planning recommendations for Boone County stakeholders. High Risk Youth Committee Chairperson and BCCSB member, Leigh Spence, stated, “as someone who has worked with young people for more than 25 years, I know how insightful they are. This report provides important views from teens in our community about violence, its effect on them, and what we can do to prevent it.” The report shares themes including educational systems, mental health, violence, identity-based experiences, community level issues, and concrete solutions from youth.

“This report can allow key stakeholders to better incorporate the needs of youth in Boone County communities,” shared Joanne Nelson, BCCSD Director. “We are excited to release this report and plan for a better tomorrow for our youth.”

The report is available electronically on

The mission of Boone County Community Services is to support the greatest possible level of independence and self-sufficiency of Boone County residents by promoting their physical, mental, and social well-being to cultivate a safe and healthy community. The Boone County Community Health & Medical Fund is funded through the Boone County Hospital Lease.