CTC guides the community's prevention efforts through a five-phase process which includes:
Get Started—Assessing community readiness to undertake collaborative prevention efforts.
Get Organized—Getting a commitment to the CTC process from community leaders and forming a diverse and representative prevention coalition.
Develop a Profile—Using data to assess prevention needs.
Create a Plan—Choosing tested and effective prevention policies, practices, and programs based on assessment data.
Implement and Evaluate—Implementing the new strategies with fidelity, in a manner congruent with the programs' theory, content, and methods of delivery, and evaluating progress over time.
CTC activities are planned and carried out by the CTC Community Board, a prevention coalition of community stakeholders who work together to promote positive youth outcomes.
Working through the five phases of CTC provides the opportunity to increase communication, collaboration, and ownership among community members and service providers invested in healthy youth development.
ABOUT CHELTENHAM CTC
Pennsylvania initiated a comprehensive plan to implement CTC projects throughout the state in the mid-1990s. The effort was spearheaded by the Governor's Partnership for Children and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).
Family Services of Montgomery County, in partnership with key community leaders, received a grant in the fall of 2013 to replicate the CTC model in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County. Recruitment of interested community stakeholders is ongoing.
The Cheltenham CTC Prevention Board has identified four priority risk factors that can lead youth in the Cheltenham/West Oak Lane area to engage in problem behaviors:
Families experiencing stress such as conflict, parenting problems, and poor communication skills have a more challenging time working through the pre-adolescent and adolescent stages without tremendous turmoil or negative outcomes. Poor family management practices include lack of clear expectations of behavior, failure of parents to monitor their children, and excessively severe or inconsistent punishment. These practices place youth at higher risk for substance use, delinquency and other problem behaviors.
Young people who are depressed are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and are more likely to use drugs and become involved in problem behavior.
Low Perceived Risks of Drug Use
The perception of harm from drug use is related to both experimentation and regular use. The less harm an adolescent perceives as the result of drug use, the more likely it is that he or she will use drugs.
Perceived Availability of Drugs
In communities and schools where youth just think that alcohol and other drugs are more available, a higher rate of drug abuse occurs.
Cheltenham CTC provides prevention education through forums, presentations, and community outreach. In addition, Cheltenham CTC offers a series of programmatic strategies to assist schools and families in helping youth to avoid problematic behavior.
Cheltenham CTC strives to create a healthy community for youth and families through opportunities and collaboration that decreases risk factors for problem behaviors and promotes positive youth development, academic achievement, healthy decision-making, and strong family bonds.