How does community prevention work?
Prevention science is a public health model that focuses on creating change at the community level. It starts with a Community Coalition of 12 stakeholder "sectors" that work together: youth and parent volunteers, designated partners from local institutions such as schools, police, treatment centers, and other concerned groups. The coalition leadership follows the Strategic Prevention Framework to provide training, data, and coordination to the coalition's members so that they can develop, implement and evaluate plans using the 7 Strategies for Community Change.
This model is based on the idea that local ownership of the work helps ensure cultural appropriateness and sustainability. At the same time, the model is vulnerable to the realities of work that is based on volunteerism: lack of expertise, lack of time, lack of coordination.
Positive Directions brings prevention leadership to the coalitions we work with, helping build members' capacity, gathering data, coordinating meetings, providing training, and leading initiatives. Positive Directions also seeks out and manages grants that support community coalition work. Over the years, our coalitions--also known as Local Prevention Councils or LPCs--have included Fairfield, Norwalk, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.