Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

Communities That Care (CTC) Grant Expands IPRC's Prevention Efforts

The Indiana Prevention Resource Center recently began the administration of a Communities That Care (CTC) contract funded by the Indiana Department of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) by way of the federal government’s SAMHSA division. The grant was awarded to prevention coalitions in 14 Indiana counties. One grantee county is located in each of Indiana’s 14 Defined Service Areas (DSAs). CTC builds on the SPF (Strategic Prevention Framework) model, a data driven process for selecting, implementing and evaluating evidence based prevention strategies.

The CTC model is a community-based process of identifying and addressing risk and protective factors within specific communities. It then works to reduce those risk factors and strengthen protective factors through data-driven, evidence-based strategies.  The IPRC is implementing CTC over a 1-2 year period through a multi-phase process which began with several IPRC-coordinated training sessions for DSA program directors. In turn, those DSA officials act as trainers to the individual CTC communities throughout the state.

The CTC process begins with a community needs assessment which serves to identify the extent of each community’s priority substance abuse problems and related mental health disorders. The next step is to identify the risk and protective factors associated with the substance abuse and prepare a community assessment that targets local assets and resources.  This analysis also helps to identify current capacity and gaps in services.  Armed with this information, each community is enabled to determine its level of readiness to act and where it can best focus specific prevention efforts.

The strength of CTC lies in its ability to identify and target specific areas most amenable to change at a local level and then effect positive change through the implementation of targeted, evidence-based programs. In addition, CTC focuses heavily on coalition-building and capacity building, which is meant to increase the long term sustainability of those efforts.

By Peter Poletti,   2/1/2011