Communities That Care Network
Mobilized by Gerald L. Rocha
Communities That Care (CTC) is an "operating system" that brings community members and organizations together through a well-defined and structured process to prevent adolescent problem behaviors and promote positive youth development.
The Delaware County CTC Network is a broad-based coalition that collects local data on risk and protective factors shown by research to be associated with delinquency, violence, substance use, school failure and dropout rates. 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.
· We use data to assess the needs of the community
· Choose programs that are considered “Best Practices” and are culturally sensitive
· We strengthen children’s resiliency by increasing their protective factors, such as opportunities to develop skills and recognition for achievement
· Our programs reduce children’s exposure to risk by targeting specific problem behaviors, such as substance abuse, delinquency and school dropout that put young people at risk or achieving a healthy adulthood
The mission of the Delaware County Communities That Care (CTC) Network is to endorse the use of evidence-based prevention programs, promote collaboration, and support healthy youth, families, and neighborhoods in the Chester Upland community.
Children, youth and adults are thriving in healthy families and in safe/sustainable communities eagerly embracing opportunities to be supported by a network of individuals, organizations, and institutions dedicated to raising the next generation. Communities That Care (CTC) Network continues to collectively respond to the community’s needs with evidence-based programs that provide access to adequate health, education and economic outcomes
In 1994, a state-wide prevention initiative called Communities That Care (CTC) was implemented through the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD)
The City of Chester in Delaware County was one of the first eight jurisdictions to be selected to participate.
For more than 21 years the Delaware County Communities That Care (CTC) Network has brought members of the business, faith, health, social service, arts, and governmental communities together.
The Delco CTC Network has been meeting on the 2nd Thursday of each month and now includes more than 140 organizations in the city of Chester and in Delaware County.
Delco CTC members have invested in the following effective evidence based programs to reduce Violence, Delinquency, School Drop-out, Substance Abuse, Teen Pregnancy and Depression/Anxiety:
· Nurse Family Partnership, Women and Children’s Health, Crozer Hospital
· Chester Drug Free Communities, The Foundation for Delaware County
· Reconnecting Youth, Chester Education Foundation
· Strengthening Families, Family and Community Services of Del. Co; Chester Education Foundation
· Second Step: Violence Prevention Curriculum, Chester Education Foundation
· B.A.B.E.S; S.P.O.R.T.; Holcomb Behavioral Health Services
· Project Elect, Family Centers, Delaware Co. Intermediate Unit
· Multi-systemic Therapy, Child Guidance Resource Center
· The Incredible Years, Functional Family Therapy; Social Work Counseling Services, Widener University
The PAYS provides the Delco CTC with valuable information on what our youth are doing, believing and experiencing. This data when combined with additional resource data in the community and the experience of youth, program coordinators and others, is what was used to prioritize the risk factors. Based on the analysis of the PAYS data and other information, the risk and resource assessment committee identified the following as priority risk factors on which to focus our efforts in developing the Community Plan:
1. Interaction with Antisocial Peers
2. Family History of Antisocial Behaviors
3. Depressive Symptoms
4. Low Neighborhood Attachment
5. Perceived Risk of Drug Use
As part of its mission to revitalize communities, CTC has provided low cost training to increase the capacity of local organizations, agencies and faith institutions.