Communities that Care PLUS

Communities that Care (CTC) is a framework, developed by the University of Washington, that helps communities prevent problems before they develop.  Many see dramatic reductions in levels of youth alcohol & tobacco use and crime & violence. The CTC process begins with a youth survey to identify a community’s risks and strengths. Based on these data, CTC helps communities select and implement tested & effective prevention programs and policies. CTC also helps amplify programs already working.

The State of Montana received a two-year grant from the Montana Healthcare Association to implement CTC throughout Montana in 2018.  Currently has 12 sites that are using or plan on using the CTC framework to initiate community-wide youth-development and prevention planning efforts. The CTC sites include the following communities: Bozeman, Browning, Butte, Deer Lodge, Dillon, Eureka, Glasgow, Libby, Madison County, Poplar, Rocky Boy, and Troy. 

Most of these communities are in Phase 1 & 2 with Bozeman leading the way and has moved into Phase 3. This means they are organizing community members, meeting with key leaders in the community and recruiting potential board members, developing vision statements and organizing into work teams to start the work.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Public Health and Safety Division’s Injury Prevention Program, has generously set aside mini-grants for each CTC site up to $5,000 to be used to organize their coalitions.

The goal of the State of Montana is to expand into other counties across the state. If you are interested in using the CTC framework contact Lonni Starcevich – Communities that Care State Coach.  More information about Communities that Care

Communities That Care is an ongoing process. When communities follow the phases below, their young people flourish.

1.  Get Started

  • Communities get ready to introduce CTC. They work behind the scenes to:
    • Activate a small group of catalysts.
    • Assess how ready the community is to begin the process.
    • Identify key community leaders to champion the process.
    • Invite diverse stakeholders to get involved.

2.  Get Organized

  • Communities form a board or work within an existing coalition. After recruiting community board members, they:
    • Learn about prevention science.
    • Write a vision statement.
    • Organize workgroups.
    • Develop a timeline for installing CTC.

3.  Develop a Community Profile

  • Communities assess community risks and strengths—and identify existing resources. The community board and workgroups:
    • Review data from the community’s youth survey.
    • Identify priority risk and protective factors that predict targeted health and behavior problems.
    • Assess community resources that address these factors.
    • Identify gaps to be filled in existing resources.

4.  Create a Community Action Plan

  • The community board creates a plan for prevention work in their community, to:
    • Reduce widespread risks and strengthen protection.
    • Define clear, measurable outcomes using assessment data.
    • Select and expand tested and effective policies and programs using the Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development website.  

5.  Implement & Evaluate

  •  In this final phase, communities:
    • Implement selected programs and policies.
    • Monitor and evaluate them.
    • Measure results and track progress to ensure improvements are achieved.

CTC’s Social Development Strategy promotes positive youth development. The University of Washington has organized the knowledge on what protects young people from developing health and behavior problems into an easy-to-use strategy.

Opportunities. Skills. Recognition.

The Social Development Strategy fosters the success and health of young people from before birth through every stage of development. It’s easy to use, easy to remember, and it works!

Providing young people with opportunities, skills and recognition strengthens bonding with family, school and community. Strong bonds motivate young people to adopt healthy standards for behavior.

This strategy has been tested and proven effective. It is a foundation of CTC.

Protective Factors

Researchers have identified protective factors that increase the likelihood of health and success for children. The Social Development Strategy provides a way of increasing the protective factors for the youth in your community.

Strategy for Interaction

When you use the Social Development Strategy in daily interactions with young people, it helps keep them on track for healthy development. The strategy has five key components:

  • Opportunities: Provide developmentally appropriate opportunities to young people, for active participation and meaningful interaction with prosocial others.
  • Skills: Teach young people the skills they need to succeed
  • Recognition: Provide consistent specific praise and recognition for effort, improvement, and achievement.
  • Bonding: Acknowledge a young person’s effort and promote positive bonding — a sense of attachment, emotional connection and commitment to the people and groups who provide that recognition. Bonding can occur with a family member, teacher, coach, employer or neighbor.
  • Clear Standards for Behavior: Through the process of bonding, young people become motivated to live according to the healthy standards of the person or group to whom they are bonded.

CTC Coordinator Information and Locations