Dr. David Hawkins:
We think of Communities That Care as an operating system for prevention for Communities, just like on your computer if you want to get to the right application you want to get your word programmer your Excel program, etc. you really need to go through the operating system we think that Communities That Care is an operating system that helps communities get to the right application right prevention program and policies to meet their needs.
What we've learned s that when key leaders in the community adopt a science-based approach to prevention that accomplishes the goal of reducing problem behaviors among young people.
We've had the opportunity with funding from NIDA and other NIH institutes as well as the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention to do a ten year study of Communities That Care.
A community randomized trial involving 24 communities randomly assigned either to get CTC or not get CTC.
And we follow a panel of over 4,000 young people from the fifth grade in those communities, actually through high school.And we've seen that Communities That Care when it's used in communities produces reductions in delinquent behavior 25 percent or more in tobacco use a 32 percent, 33 percent reduction to alcohol use community-wide among young people in CTC communities compared to control communities.
These effects last through high school. It's difficult to send live trainers to all the communities in America that need Communities That Care.
One of the things that we've done recently with support from NIDA, is to develop an electronic Communities That Care workshop system, which means that Communities That Care training is now streamed over the web, facilitated locally by a local facilitator who is trained to facilitate it.
That means that people in the community who miss a training can go back and learn that training, can if they saw a video in training that they wanted to see again can go look at those videos, et cetera.
So there's a much greater flexibility now in the Communities That Care training it doesn't require lives certified trainers onsite but can be facilitated locally and provided at the schedule that works best for that community in the community.
We're learning some very interesting to things about Communities That Care. One thing we're learning is that the affects of Communities That Care on young people are do to the fact that key leaders in those communities adopt science-based approach to prevention.
They decide they want to reduce known risk factors in enhance known protective factors that they want to use evidence-based programs and policies to address elevated risk factors in the community and that they will monitor implementation to ensure that they implement with fidelity.
What we are interested in learning from the new study that we've just initiated is how long do these effects have Communities That Care that began when communities were working with young people and their environment in the middle school period how long do those effects last?
I would say that it's important for the community to be ready to use Communities That Care in order for it to work successfully and that means people are willing to collaborate towards the well-being of young people.
That people come together not just to enhance their own agencies funding but because they really want better outcomes from their children and for their children and if community people come together all the diverse stakeholders develop a common vision and then work hard to implement the phases of Communities That Care we have seen consistently across communities that they can be successful in doing.
That and achieving better outcomes for young people.