ROBERT HERNANDEZ aims to educate and engage in practice-driven research to address critical areas of society that continue to hinder communities from flourishing. His areas of interest include vulnerable youth populations, adolescent social issues, adolescent gang intervention, strength-based/resiliency and youth empowerment models of practice. In particular, Hernandez's work examines risk and protective factors within communities that are associated with vulnerable youth populations residing in trauma-exposed communities. He has focused on advancing marginalized populations through a range of practice approaches addressing violence-related trauma through violence reduction, prevention and intervention strategies.
As a practitioner and evaluator, Hernandez has worked with various street youth populations in areas ranging from San Jose, California, to his hometown of Los Angeles. He also served on the Community Engagement Ad-Hoc Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development, headed by then-District 6 Councilman Tony Cardenas. He contributed to the creation of “Two Prong Approach,” the city's community-based gang intervention model.
Hernandez currently serves on the National Juvenile Justice Network, which is composed of coalitions and organizations that advocate for juvenile reform. Much of his work centers on community violence prevention and intervention. He also is cofounder and executive director of Visionary Youth Center, Inc.
At USC, Hernandez teaches Leadership in the Social Work Profession and Organizations: Theory and Practice; Policy and Practice in Social Service Organizations; Social Work Practice With Families, Groups and Complex Cases; Social Work and Law; and Adolescent Gang Intervention.