The Drug Free Communities grant program takes a comprehensive, multi-sector and data driven approach to prevent and reduce youth substance misuse in communities throughout the United States. The Cambria County Drug Coalition was recently awarded grant money to implement this strategic and evidence based approach in Cambria County to further the mission of creating positive change.
Communities That Care (CTC) is an “operating system” that takes communities through a well-defined and structured process to prevent adolescent problem behaviors and promote positive youth development. CTC communities form a broad-based coalition and then collect local data on risk and protective factors shown by research to be associated with delinquency, violence, substance use, and school failure and dropout. After collecting this data the communities identifies 3-5 specific risk and protective factors to focus on, and then seeks evidence-based programs and strategies to address those priorities. After 2-3 years of implementing these strategies, the community re-assesses their risk and protective factors to measure impact and identify new emerging priorities.