Communities that Care (CtC) is a coalition based prevention strategy to address youth issues. Using prevention science as its base, CtC promotes healthy youth development and reduces problem behaviors such as delinquency, school drop-out and substance (ab)use. CtC is based on the Social Development
Strategy formulated by J. David Hawkins and Richard Catalano at the University of Washington. It provides a structure for engaging community stakeholders, tools for assessing levels of risk and protection in communities and processes for prioritizing these factors and setting specific, measurable, community goals.
CtC guides the community and decision makers to create a strategic prevention plan designed to address the community’s profile of risk and protection with tested, effective programs. This profile is based on youth self questionnaires. CtC instructs the coalition to monitor program implementation, to periodically reevaluate community levels of risk and protection and outcomes, and to make adjustments in prevention programming if necessary.
In 1999 the Dutch government, in collaboration with the Dutch Youth institute and DSP-groep, bought the CtC-program for The Netherlands. DSP-groep adapted the American method into a model that fits the Dutch situation. We developed a questionnaire and conducted pilots in 4 cities in the Netherlands. These pilots proved to be successful and with the help of the Dutch Youth Institute and money from the government the method was introduced in many other Dutch cities.
Besides in the Netherlands, CtC is used successfully in over 500 locations in the United States and Europe.