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Risk and Protection

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jmccord35
Words 1700
Pages 7
Elkhart County Community
Assessment Report
Written By: Jeremy McCord – Project Coordinator and Elkhart County CTC Community
Assessment Work Group

Executive Summary
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 evidence-based and data driven programming to address them.

It is important to remember that the Communities That Care system is simply a tool to aid in building a prevention infrastructure referred to as the Strategic Prevention Framework process. Communities That Care and Strategic Prevention Framework are not programs nor are they administrative names for program implementation. They exist and work together in helping communities get organized, identify problem areas based on community data, make knowledgeable decisions pertaining to how these problems should be addressed, and evaluate any actions taken to counter the problem areas. Each phase of the Communities That Care system fits well into a coordinating phase of the Strategic Prevention Framework process, and it is clear that sustainability and cultural competency as key components to every part of building a prevention infrastructure.

This report describes the results of the risk- and protective-factor assessment completed as part of Elkhart County's Communities That Care effort. The Communities That Care system is a way for members of a community to work together to prevent youth problem behaviors, including substance use, delinquency, teen pregnancy, dropping out of school and violence. 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.

Introduction
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 That Care process to achieve the community's vision that all young people in Elkhart County grow up supported and nurtured by their families, schools and community, and become healthy adults who contribute positively to society.
Key accomplishments to date: * In May of 2012, the Indiana Youth Survey was administered to 6th graders in Elkhart Community Schools and 10th graders at Concord Community Schools in Elkhart County. * In June of 2012, partnership was confirmed with The Source, which is a coalition of local key leaders, to assist in capacity building of CTC process as well as carrying out of milestones and benchmarks. * In August of 2012, community coordinator was secured by Geminus Corporation to begin capacity building measures for CTC in Elkhart County. * In December of 2012, key leaders and coordinator secured ongoing support for Indiana Youth Survey from Elkhart Community schools and Concord Community Schools through school year 2015-16. * In January of 2013, community leaders attended a Key Leader Orientation and committed to the Communities That Care effort. * In March of 2013, a Community Board was formed. Members attended the two-day Community Board Orientation and established a structure for the Elkhart County Communities That Care effort. This included forming work groups to achieve the various steps in implementing the Communities That Care system. * In March of 2013, the Risk- and Protective-Factor Assessment work group attended the Community Assessment Training and developed a plan for completing the community risk- and protective-factor assessment. This report is the result of that assessment.
The Community Assessment
Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Catalano have identified risk factors that predict problem behaviors in youth, and protective factors that help protect young people from those risks. By addressing risk and protective factors, communities can help prevent adolescent problem behaviors and promote positive youth development. A key goal of the Communities That Care system is for communities to develop a profile of the risk factors, protective factors and problem behaviors in their community, and to develop a plan for addressing the risk factors that are most elevated while enhancing protective factors.
This report represents the first step in that process. The Risk- and Protective-Factor Assessment work group has collected data on risk factors, protective factors and problem behaviors in Elkhart County. With input from the community, the work group has identified our community's strengths and the priority risk factors to address in the prevention plan.

Data Collection Methods
As noted above, the Indiana Youth Survey was administered in May 2012. All students in grades 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th were asked to participate. The complete results are provided in the Elkhart County Communities That Care Youth Survey report. In addition, Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Catalano have identified archival data indicators that have been shown to be valid and reliable measures of certain risk factors and problem behaviors that are not measured by the survey, namely Extreme Economic Deprivation, Teen Pregnancy and School Drop-Out. The Risk- and Protective-Factor Assessment work group collected data from local and state agencies to supplement the youth survey.
How the Priorities Were Identified
The Risk- and Protective-Factor Assessment work group analyzed the data to identify which risk factors are most elevated in Elkhart County. This initial short list of priorities was presented to the Community Board, which discussed other considerations, such as the community's ability to have an impact on certain risk factors at this time. By consensus, the Community Board then selected the final priorities for prevention action in Elkhart County. Those priorities were presented to Key Leaders for endorsement.
Report Overview
The next section of the report provides detailed information and analysis of the risk factors, protective factors and problem behaviors in Elkhart County. The Conclusion presents the final list of priorities and recommendations for future action. Protective Factor: Depressed protection for community rewards for anti-social involvement and Interaction with pro-social peers.
The Indiana Youth Survey revealed that both protective factors are depressed throughout the county. The number of Elkhart County area 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders benefitting from community rewards for involvement is less than that of other communities across the nation. The number of Elkhart County area 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders benefitting from interaction with pro-social peers is less than that of other communities across the nation.

Conclusion and Recommendations
Elkhart County's Strengths
The data revealed that young people in Elkhart County are motivated to follow society's expectations and standards. In particular, young people reported high levels of the protective factor "Belief in the Moral Order" and low levels of the risk factor "Rebelliousness." Elkhart County should work to build on this strength while enhancing other protective factors in its prevention efforts.
Community Priorities
Based on the analysis of the data and input from the community, the following priority risk/protective factors were identified for the community to focus on over the next several years: * Interaction with Pro-Social Peers (Peer and Individual Domain) * Community Rewards for Anti-Social Involvement (Community Domain)
These risk factors were selected as priorities because the data indicated that they are among the most elevated throughout Elkhart County. We recommend that Elkhart County give particular attention to implementing strategies or programs to address these three risk factors when developing a prevention plan.
Next Steps
The next step in the Communities That Care process is to find out what resources are already in place in Elkhart County that address the priorities outlined above. The Resources Assessment and Evaluation work group will attend the Community Resources Assessment Training in November. Their assessment, combined with this report, will make up the profile of Elkhart County that will be used to identify programs and strategies to promote positive youth development and prevent problem behaviors in Elkhart County.

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