Elkhart County Community
Written By: Jeremy McCord – Project Coordinator
and Elkhart County CTC Community
Assessment Work Group
Elkhart County utilized the Communities That Care system as a capacity building tool to aid in the Strategic Prevention Framework process. The Strategic Prevention Framework is a 5-step planning process that guides the selection, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based, culturally appropriate, sustainable prevention activities. Communities That Care is a tool used to guide a community through the assessment and prioritization of risk and protective factors most in need of attention and links those priorities to ...view middle of the document...
This system was developed by Dr. David Hawkins and Dr. Richard Catalano. It is based on their research, which has identified risk factors that predict youth problem behaviors and protective factors that buffer children from risk and help them succeed in life.
A key goal of the Communities That Care effort is to identify which risk factors, protective factors and problem behaviors are prevalent in our community, and implement evidence-based programs that address our community's unique profile. To that end, the Risk- and Protective-Factor Assessment work group collected and analyzed data on Elkhart County. Then, with input from the community, they identified priority risk factors to address, as well as community strengths on which to build.
The assessment was completed using the Indiana Youth Survey and archival data. The Indiana Youth Survey was administered to students in grades 6th at Elkhart Community schools and students in grades 10th in Concord Community Schools in Elkhart County in the spring of 2012. To get the most complete picture of our community, the Risk-and Protective-Factor Assessment work group also collected archival data from public records to measure risk factors and problem behaviors not covered by the survey.
Based on the analysis of the data and input from the community, the following risk factors were identified as priorities for community attention:
* Interaction with Pro-Social Peers (Peer and Individual Domain)
* Community Rewards for Anti-Social Involvement (Community Domain)
These risk factors were selected as priorities for prevention action primarily because data indicated that they are significantly elevated throughout Elkhart County.
The data also revealed Elkhart County's strengths. For example, the Indiana Youth Survey revealed that students throughout the county are motivated to follow society's expectations and standards. They reported high levels of the protective factor "Belief in the Moral Order" and low levels of the risk factor "Rebelliousness." This is an important area of strength on which to build to help protect our county's youth from the risk of problem behaviors.
This report recommends that the community give particular attention to the risk factors noted above when developing the community's action plan to prevent youth problem behaviors and promote positive youth development.
The Elkhart County Communities That Care Effort
In the fall of 2012, Elkhart County began implementing Communities That Care prevention-planning system. Developed by Dr. David Hawkins and Dr. Richard Catalano of the Social Development Research Group in Seattle, Washington, the Communities That Care system is a way for members of a community to work together to efficiently and effectively promote positive youth development and prevent youth problem behaviors such as substance use, delinquency, teen pregnancy, dropping out of school and violence.
Elkhart County implemented the Communities...