The Communities That Care (CTC) system is a planning and implementation process for building positive futures for youth communitywide. It brings diverse stakeholders together to prevent youth health and behavior problems in a science based, data–driven way.
The CTC model is based on 40 years of prevention science research focused on risk factors and prevention factors impacting youth behavior and health.
Critical Elements of CTC
- A public health approach to prevent youth problem behaviors
- Community-owned and operated by a coalition of key stakeholders from all sectors
- Data-driven decision-making
Basic Foundations of CTC
- Prevention Science – Risk & Protective Factors
- Social Development Strategy (SDS)
- Tested and Effective Programs and Policies
CTC is underpinned by the Social Development Strategy (SDS) – an evidence-based framework which organizes protective factors into a simple strategy for action to promote positive youth development.
Social Development Strategy
CTC 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.
Benefits of CTC outweigh the costs
For every dollar invested in CTC, $11.14 is returned in the form of lower criminal justice system, crime victim, and health care costs and increased earnings and tax revenues.