Communities across the country have a
vested interest in making sure that young people develop into healthy
productive citizens and avoid behaviors that can jeopardize their own
health and well-being and threaten the well-being of their families and
neighborhoods as well. Substance abuse and delinquency are prime
examples of behaviors that get in the way of positive development.
Researchers in the field of prevention science have identified a number
of factors that make it more likely or less likely that a young person
will adopt problem behaviors. Prevention scientists have drawn on these
findings to design programs aimed at preventing youth from getting
caught up in delinquency, drug use, and other problem behaviors, and
they have evaluated these programs using rigorous scientific criteria.
In spite of these advances, tested
and effective approaches to help youth develop into productive citizens
and avoid problem behaviors have not been used widely in schools and
communities, and efforts to establish effective prevention systems have
been limited. The Communities That Care (CTC) system was developed to
address this gap.