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Article

Abstract

Although many crime victims seek support from members of the faith community, faith leaders may feel unsure of their abilities to assist. This paper describes findings from a descriptive needs assessment that preceded a national project to link faith-based organizations and victim service programs in five high-crime neighborhoods. Approximately 90 participants were interviewed, including faith leaders, victim service providers, and other professionals. A majority saw positive implications of faith-secular collaboration but also identified concerns. Findings focus on perceived obstacles and facilitators of collaboration, addressing climate for faith-secular collaboration, disciplinary differences, community engagement, and church-state separation. Implications for collaboration are explored and recommendations are provided for future efforts to link faith communities and secular services.

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