Children, Youth and Families at Risk

This joint project will implement the PROSPER Model in two West Virginia (WV) communities (Hancock County and Randolph County) and two new Iowa (IA) communities (Sioux County and Hamilton County) that have the capacity to implement the Model and higher community needs. This community engagement system uses evidence-based programs with middle school aged youth (ages 11-13) and their families to effectively increased positive outcomes for high-risk populations. Programs delivered using this Model build youth assets (e.g., problem-solving and decision-making skills, workforce readiness, and positive parent-adolescent relationships) and reduce problem behaviors (e.g., alcohol and drug use; delinquent activity). This system also supports the sustained delivery of evidence-based programs in a way that maximizes Extension and partner organization resources.

This project features:

  • Application of the proven PROSPER Partnership Model via a State Management Team (SMT) and two Community Teams (CTs) in each state. Prevention Coordinators in each state facilitate technical assistance and continuing education for CTs.
  • Engagement and training of CTs focused on a two-staged approach to reach 6th grade youth and their parents/caregivers with approximately seven sessions (14 instructional hours) and 7th graders in 11-21 class periods (9 to 17 instructional hours).
  • Reaching more youth and families than traditional approaches and achieving a population impact (approximately 400 families/parents and 1,440 youths in WV and IA).
  • Sustained community and state level collaboration and visibility which may lead to possible replication in additional communities.
  • Use of monitoring and evaluation data from the CYFAR and PROSPER web-based data systems to ensure implementation fidelity of programs and of the Model. 

Project Work Plan

Year 1: Planning for Model implementation includes staff training in the PROSPER Model for new PCs and TLs, team development, and orientation to the project. SMTs will coordinate efforts, detail implementation plans, and develop partnerships to sustain efforts long-term.

Year 2: Teams will select family programs, receive program training, recruit families and implement programs with assistance from PCs. SMTs will monitor quality and provide training for marketing, fundraising, and building partnerships for sustainability of teams and programs.

Year 3: Teams increase the numbers of families served. A 7th grade school program is selected, staff are trained, and programs implemented. PCs and SMTs continue support as in Year 2 with proactive technical assistance, Learning Community workshops for TLs, and statewide meeting.

Years 4 & 5: Family cohorts continue to increase in number while the school program is delivered as part of the 7th grade curriculum. Teams begin to use partnerships, fundraising, and promotion to become self-sustaining with on-going support from PCs and SMTs.

Throughout all five years, guidance, training and evaluation for this developmental systems change initiative is provided by PROSPER Network staff. Strategic communications and technical assistance will utilize virtual technologies to maximize resources.