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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.


This is an electronic version of an article published in

DeHart, D. D. (2010). Collaboration between victim services and faith organizations: Benefits, challenges, and recommendations. The Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work, 29(4), 349-371.

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