Communities That Care: Building Community Engagement and Capacity to Prevent Youth Behavior Problems, a new publication released Dec. 3 by Oxford University Press, is the first comprehensive description of the development, implementation and evaluation of the Communities That Care prevention system pioneered at the Social Development Research Group, a School of Social Work center.
The authors include two leading experts on prevention from the School of Social Work—J. David Hawkins, Emeritus Endowed Professor of Prevention, and Professor Richard F. Catalano—along with Abigail Fagan, University of Florida, and David Farrington, Cambridge University.
Catalano and Hawkins (pictured, left to right) were also recently selected to receive the 2019 Distinguished Career Achievement Award by the Society for Social Work and Research. The award recognizes the duo for their outstanding scholarship, rigorous approach to social work research, innovation, impact and major contributions to the field. The award will be presented in January at the SSWR conference in San Francisco.
Communities That Care is a coalition-based prevention system implemented successfully in dozens of communities across the world to promote healthy development and reduce crime and drug use among youth. Drawing on literature from criminology, community psychology and prevention science, the 376-page book describes the conditions and actions necessary for effective community-based prevention. The publication summarizes years of work with communities in the United States and other countries—in urban centers and rural areas, and in advantaged and disadvantaged communities. "We learned a lot by listening to these diverse community voices and through our journey developed a system to assist them in preventing their problems," said Catalano.
The book also covers how to:
- Improve community capacity to conduct a prevention needs assessment.
- Increase the use of evidence-based interventions.
- Ensure high-quality implementation and sustainability of preventive interventions.
A comprehensive review of literature related to community-based prevention, results of a 24-community experimental trial of Communities That Care, and results of a benefit-cost analysis of Communities That Care are also included.
The book was widely praised in advance peer reviews. “Bravo to the developers of Communities That Care who present a very readable overview of CTC and community-based prevention,” wrote Mark T. Greenberg, Bennett Chair of Prevention Science at Pennsylvania State University, and Seattle Children’s Frederick P. Rivara commented: “Communities That Care represents an important paradigm shift to community interventions that work for the whole population of youth in a community.”
Communities That Care: Building Community Engagement and Capacity to Prevent Youth Behavior Problems is available in both hard and soft cover as well as in e-book format.
See related Grand Challenges for Social Work: Ensure Healthy Development for All Youth.