Implementing the Communities That Care Prevention System: Challenges, Solutions, and Opportunities in an Urban Setting

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Communities That Care, refined and tested for more than 25years, offers a step-by-step coalition-based approach to promote well-being and prevent risk behaviors among youth. Communities That Care guides coalitions to identify and prioritize underlying risk and protective factors; set specific, measurable community goals; adopt tested, effective prevention programs to target selected factors; and implement chosen programs with fidelity. Communities That Care has been implemented in a variety of communities, but has only recently begun to be systematically evaluated in diverse, urban communities. Methods: This paper presents a process evaluation of Communities That Care implementation within a Midwestern ethnically diverse, urban community. In-depth surveys of 25 black male youth aged 8–14years and their caregivers were conducted to determine the degree to which coalition-selected priorities aligned with the experience of black families. Implementation and survey data were collected in 2014–2017 and analyzed in 2017–2018. Results: Roughly 30% of youth reported ever being bullied or bullying someone else on school property; this aligned with the coalition's decision to focus on positive social skills and bullying prevention. Additional data aligned with the coalition's intent to expand its community action plan to encompass other priorities, including family transitions and mobility. For example, roughly one third of caregivers went on welfare and one third of families moved to a new home or apartment in the past year. Conclusions: In communities whose residents have experienced historical and current inequities, an effective community prevention plan may need to address structural as well as social determinants of well-being among youth and their families. Supplement information: This article is part of a supplement entitled African American Men's Health: Research, Practice, and Policy Implications, which is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Brady SS; Parker CJ; Jeffries EF; Simpson T; Brooke-Weiss BL; Haggerty KP
  • Start Page

  • S70
  • End Page

  • S81
  • Volume

  • 55
  • Issue

  • 5