Kandace Brown, Coordinator for CTC, said the two-year process will take Clay County through several stages of collecting local data, which will help in identifying risk factors in the community.
"Many of the problem behaviors in our community will seem intuitive," Brown said. "For example, we know meth, tobacco use, and teen pregnancy are problems in our community.
"CTC will provide research-based approaches for identifying predictors of problem behaviors as well as positive youth outcomes."
Nicole Christlieb, CHANCES For Indiana Youth, Director of CTC, has been educating the local Coordinating Council, now renamed Clay County Substance Abuse Council, on how community, family, school and individual, have identifiable and influential risk factors.
"This research-based approach is sensitive at looking to all the various influences youth experience," Christlieb said, "so as to not bring blame to any one area in the community. In fact, casting blame is contradictory to our mission.
"We want to know what the predictors are so we can prevent behavior problems, work through collaboration with the many wonderful organizations in Clay County, and create long-lasting results."
On May 25, CTC met with many like-minded organizations during a Step AHEAD meeting, whom showed an interest in CTC. Brown said the meeting had representation from the prosecutor's office, police department, sheriff's department, SOS, LEAAP, Wrap-A-Round, Skateboard Park, Crisis Pregnancy Center, CASA, Casey, YMCA, Children's Bureau, Clay Community Schools, St. Vincent Clay Hospital, faith-based organizations such as First Christian Church, Hamilton Center, and many more.
"If you run a community outreach program, a soup kitchen, sock drive, we want to know and add your efforts to our data collection list," Brown said. "People in Clay County work hard for their community and by documenting these efforts, it will translate into more funding, collaboration among agencies, use of tested, effective funded programs, long-range strategic focus, and greater community involvement.
"As our community works toward its fullest potential our youth win," Brown continued, "which means we all benefit from their success."
To have an organization/community outreach program included in the Communities That Care database, call Brown at 812-236-6644 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.