A few tips:
1. The best way to engage gang members is privately. You will be more successful with intervention efforts when you intervene or redirect behavior in isolation from other youth when possible.
2. Establish you group home, foster, home, school, or other physical space as "Neutral Territory." Do this by orienting new youth to your program in a manner that informs them of your awareness of gangs in your area and have them sign a contract that acknowledges your programs physical space as neutral territory. Post signs that indicate your space as neutral territory or safe zone.
3. Do not make disrespectful or dismissive remarks about gangs in front of any youth in your care. Make youth aware of your concern for their safety and the risks associated with gang involvement, but do not make blatantly derogatory comments or generalizations about gangs. Youth often see the gang as their family and even though the gang often promotes anti-social attitudes and behaviors, the youth may not be able to see what you see. You want to be able to gain the youths respect over time to move away from gang activity and your ability to do this will depend on how they perceive your understanding of where they come from in gang culture.
4. Be knowledgable about gangs in your community. Develop a relationship with local gang outreach staff (if available) or the police gang unit. Have them present to you and your staff on the local gang activity, locations where gangs exist, and gang trends in your community.
These are a few tips. More to come later!