Communities that Care

Randall et al. argue that funds are wasted on expensive and ineffective out-ofhome placements for individual children when collaborative partnerships to empower disadvantaged communities have the potential of addressing problems that influence all community members (Randall, Swenson, & Henggeler, 1999). Perhaps the most highly regarded model for implementing crime prevention at the community level is the “Communities that Care” (CTC) model (Hawkins & Catalano, 1992) which is a core component in the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders advocated by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) (Farrington & Welsh, 2007). The model is designed as an “operating system,” starting with a community coalition and strategic consultation. One of the key features of the model is its recognition that each community is unique, and solutions should be based on data from the community. To that end, an initial risk and resource assessment is carried out to identify a set of community-specific risk factors to target for intervention. Prevention strategies are chosen from a menu of programs that have shown benefits in carefully designed experimental or quasi experimental studies (Howell & Hawkins, 1998). The programs are then evaluated to assess progress so that leaders can make modifications as needed. Thus, the CTC model does not dictate specific interventions, but instead provides a structure that communities can use for identifying problems and applying solutions. CTC has not been evaluated for violence prevention. Two evaluations conducted by Hawkins and colleagues suggest it is a promising strategy for reducing substance use and delinquency (Child Trends, 2014).

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