The Communities That Care (CTC) process is an operating system that provides research-based tools to help
communities mobilize to promote the positive development of children and to prevent adolescent problem behavior
including substance abuse, delinquency, school drop-out and violence.
Through strategic consultation, training, and research-based tools, CTC assists community stakeholders and decision makers to understand and apply information about risk and protective factors, and programs that are proven to make a difference in promoting healthy youth development, in order to most effectively address the specific issues facing their community's youth.
Developed by Drs. J. David Hawkins and Richard Catalano at the University of Washington's Social Development Research Group (SDRG), CTC's principal strategy, the Social Development Strategy (right), focuses on strengthening protective factors that can buffer young people from problem behaviors and promote positive youth development. CTC is grounded in rigorous research from social work, public health, psychology, education, medicine, criminology, and organizational development. It engages all community members who have a stake in healthy futures for young people and sets priorities for action based on community challenges and strengths. Clear, measurable outcomes are tracked over time to show progress and ensure accountability
Five Phase of CTC
Communities That Care guides the community's prevention efforts through a five-phase process which includes:
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. Board members participate in a series of six CTC training workshops in which they build their coalition and learn the skills needed to install the CTC system.
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. For more
information on CTC see www.episcenter.psu.edu/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). CTC continues to be a priority for PCCD.
Family Services, in partnership with key community leaders, received a grant in the fall of 2013
to replicate the CTC model in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County. Initial key leaders are being trained in the
CTC process and undertaking risk and protective factors assessment. Recruitment of interested community stakeholders