Building Strengths Through Community-Level Interventions: Effects of Communities That Care On System and Youth Outcomes
CTC uses a coalition-based approach to develop the individual, coalition, and community capacities for adopting and sustaining a science-based approach to prevention. A community-wide strategy for science-based prevention involves reliable and valid assessment of all community youth; collectively prioritizing risk and protective factors the community desires to target for change; identifying service gaps and existing programs and policies that affect prioritized risk and protective factors; selecting programs, policies, and practices that have been scientifically tested and demonstrated to be effective at addressing the prioritized risk and protective factors to fill service gaps; developing a work plan, budget, timeline, evaluation, and sustainability plan for implementation; monitoring them to ensure they are reaching the target population with requisite levels of fidelity, intensity, and effectiveness; and refining the programs, policies, and practices as necessary based upon ongoing assessment. CTC is based on the Social Development Theory which seeks to promote prosocial engagement through the provision of opportunities, skills, and recognition at all levels of the community system.
The symposium panelists report findings from the Community Youth Development Study (CYDS), the first randomized controlled trial of CTC in 24 communities across 7 states.
The first paper examines data reported by coalition members within the 12 CTC coalitions regarding the strengths of individuals, coalitions, and communities associated with high functioning coalitions that adopt a science-based approach to prevention. The second paper uses data provided by community key leaders within all 24 study communities to examine the strengths of leaders and communities associated with sustained adoption of a science-based approach to prevention over time. The final paper uses longitudinal data from 4,407 youth to examine the extent to which providing opportunities, skills, and recognition to youth increase the strengths of adolescents within 24 communities.
Collectively, these papers report findings from a community-randomized trial of CTC that will contribute to an evidence-base for strength-based community level practice.