BY VIVIANA FELIX
Communities that Care (CTC) is an evidence-based model that uses early intervention and prevention research to guide a community toward understanding their local needs, identifying and setting priorities, and implementing effective evidence-based strategies to address those needs. Using prevention science at its core, CTC promotes healthy youth development. The five-phase CTC process involves parents, schools, youth, city leaders, law enforcement, faith leaders, and other stakeholders who want to promote healthy youth development and improve youth outcomes by reducing problem behaviors.
North Davis Communities that Care coalition’s efforts in preventing substance use and mental health problems are driven by local data that tells us what is putting our kids at risk and want can be done to build protection. These are better known as Risk and Protective Factors. Risk Factors are elements in a young person’s life that increase the likelihood of them engaging in unhealthy behaviors. Protective Factors buffer against risk by reducing the impact of risk or changing the way a young person responds to it. There are four areas of a child’s life where risk and protection can occur, these are Family, School, Community, and Peer Groups. As a coalition, we work towards reducing risk in the community for our youth and building protection so that they have the best opportunity at a healthy life.
Last January, the coalition selected its priorities for the next five years and will review and assess as new data emerges.