Care Coalition makes strides

Sarah Krakoff, Nederland.  The Nederland Communities That Care Coalition (NCTCC), formed in February 2017, has oriented members from all areas of the community. Communities That Care was brought to Nederland through a grant awarded to TEENS, Inc. by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

 

Upon formation, the coalition had a full-day Community Board Orientation in August; formed six workgroups with one member of each serving as part of the board; conducted individual workgroup meetings; and finalized its vision statement. The NCTCC’s vision is:

 

We are committed to empowering youth to reach their full potential through positive relationships, with the goal of promoting healthy behavior and well-being.

 

Communities That Care is community-owned and operated; run by a coalition of diverse community stakeholders. It is data-driven, evidence-based, and outcome-focused. A public health approach is used to help communities prevent problems before they develop. Communities That Care is a system for building local capacity to choose and implement effective programs that address prevalent risks and strengthen protection against behavioral health risks.

 

There are six workgroups of the NCTCC which are open to anyone in or serving the Nederland area. They are: Youth Leadership, Community Board Maintenance, Assessments, Communication and Outreach, Funding, and Family Involvement. The following is an in-depth look at each workgroup.

 

Youth Leaders: The NCTCC is proud to offer paid positions to high school youth within its Youth Leadership Academy. By participation in the Academy, youth will: develop leadership and networking skills; understand how to encourage behavioral change in individuals; receive training to serve as a chair of a coalition workgroup; learn how to advise community decision-making boards; serve as ambassadors to youth peers for substance abuse prevention; gain prevention science skills; and develop advocacy skills with special emphasis on youth substance abuse.

 

Community Board Maintenance: Recruit and orient new members; determine bylaws; ensure successful internal coalition communication; oversee decision-making and voting; and report on board and coalition accomplishments.

 

Assessments: Share data with Nederland; review qualitative and quantitative data; recommend priority risk and protective factors; conduct community-based interviews with policy makers and influential stakeholders; and manage implementation of the coalition’s chosen interventions and policies.

 

Communication and Outreach: Update the Nederland community on coalition activities; handle public relations; work with media and develop relationships; utilize social media platforms; facilitate communication between workgroups and within coalition; talk to different groups about the CTC process and educate in more informal ways.

 

Funding: Build relationships with community funders and grant-making organizations; research local community donor companies; provide information on potential grant opportunities; and build the case for sustaining the CTC effort.

 

Family Involvement: Work to identify meaningful community-involvement opportunities, skills and training; and family support services for Nederland families; assess needs of area families by coordinating efforts with other workgroups; and identify and engage already existing community family groups.

 

For more on the Nederland Communities That Care Coalition, please contact Jen Lavely, jen@teensinc.org , 303-475-3947 or visit: www.nederlandctcc.com