247841 Building healthy youth through community-based substance abuse education and leadership development: The Wards 7 and 8 DC Prevention Center

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Robin Kelley, PhD , Wards 7 & 8 DC Prevention Center, BRIC, Washington, DC
Rosalind Parker, JD , Ward 7 & 8 DC Prevention Center, BRIC, Inc., Washington, DC
Steven Hazel, MSW , Wards 7 & 8 DC Prevention Center, BRIC, Inc., Washington, DC
The Wards 7 and 8 DC Prevention Center addresses youth ATOD risks with a conceptual framework and guiding principles from the Washington DC Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration. Data suggest that DC's ATOD risk factors are highest in Wards 7 and 8: 40% of DC's youth population under 18 resides in Wards 7&8; these Wards have the highest rates of unemployment and violence; and 51 of 83 juvenile homicides in DC occurred there. These social determinants put youth at high risk for early substance use. Thus, the Center has adopted a systems-level approach to achieve the anticipated outcome of changing community norms towards ATOD. This approach focuses on neighborhood-level, community-based change. The innovative strategy engages community members in youth ATOD prevention through the development of neighborhood-based prevention networks. This is accomplished through community education and leadership development to build residents' capacity to engage in a focused action planning process. This cutting-edge approach places all staff in the community with only staff check-ins and administrative work occurring at the center's physical location. Early indicators of success include engagement of 91 community clusters and network participants, organizations and residents, in these activities. In working to educate this network, which represents thousands of families, youth, and caring adults, it is expected that this approach will foster community leadership development; fuel community acceptance of non ATOD use norms, subsequently delay the first use of ATOD by youth under 18 and impede the progression of other risk factors.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Demonstrates the benefits of community engagement through an innovative approach to long-term systems-level change in risk factor reduction and non ATOD use among youth under 18. 2.Describes risk factors, targeted outcomes and existing ATOD trends among African American youth in high risk neighborhoods of Washington, DC. 3. Discusses the capacity building of individuals who form community through knowledge and leadership skills development to make systematic changes in their environment to prevent underage ATOD use.

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Community Preventive Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: for the development and assistance with the program assessment information and report development.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.