Community Prevention System
A Community Prevention System is an alternative approach that seeks to strengthen families and enhance child well-being without the intervention of the child welfare system. By working within communities, and bringing all of its strengths and services together in a coordinated way, families can be served before warning signs become a crisis. Participants in a Community Prevention System are nonprofit service providers, doctors, mental health practitioners, schools, churches, housing and transportation services, and even utilities companies. The goal is to give families what they need to thrive so they can stay together, remain self-sufficient, and support the health and learning of their children.
A Community Prevention System is a universal approach to promoting child well-being within a community -- from as broad as the community context to as narrow as meeting the needs of individual families.
Primary prevention is a universal approach that addresses the community context and touches every family in the community to ensure basic needs are met. This means ensuring access to early childhood education, housing, jobs with living wages, and positive informal supports – all the things that families need to grow healthy, thriving kids. When Primary Prevention strategies are in place, fewer families will need to access higher-level interventions.
This level of prevention is focused on families that are experiencing risk factors, like alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, teenage parenthood, English as a second language, etc. At-Risk Prevention strategies are all about ensuring access to counseling, treatment, parenting classes, and other concrete supports that build a family's Protective Factors to mitigate their risk factors and make sure their children have what they need to reach their full potential.
High-Risk Prevention strategies focus on families who may have a history with the child welfare system or are on the verge of entering. These intensive interventions work to provide customized, wrap-around services through community providers to strengthen the family, get them out of crisis and onto a path to long-term stability.
As a whole
In one of our Community Prevention Systems, a family may enter via any service partner at any level to get the services and supports it needs. All of our Community Prevention Systems are:
- Community-owned collaborations that engage all the community's voices -- nonprofit organizations, health care providers, educators, government, churches, businesses and, most importantly, families and youth
- Committed to our enhanced version of the Collective Impact model of collaboration
- Built to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
- Focused on actively promoting the Protective Factors
- Tied to a shared set of measurements