Communities that Care. We all make a difference!
The Communities That Care Coalition’s mission is to bring together schools, families,
youth, and the community to improve youth health and health equity.

2021 Teen Health Survey Data Released

The Communities That Care Coalition has released the results of our 2021 Teen Health Survey.

More than 1,500 Franklin County and North Quabbin students from 9 school districts participated in the survey during February of this year, providing valuable insights into COVID-related health behaviors and concerns.

You can view our data presentation here. And you can find the chat and jamboard from the meeting zoom here.

UMass School of Public Health Master's student Jasmine Inim provided a look at the data on family time spent together in the pandemic.  Find her presentation here.

Find WWLP22's coverage of the Teen Health Survey data here.

First-Ever FC/NQ PreVenture Training a Success!

We are delighted to report that over the April vacation, 11 counselors from 6 school districts and Clinical and Support Options participated in a 3-day training in a PreVenture Program Facilitator Training.  The PreVenture Program teaches cognitive-behavioral skills and motivational techniques to students in a small 
group setting, based on their personality type.  The program has been shown
to be highly effective in reducing mental health problems as well as drug and alcohol use.

The reviews of the program and the training were overwhelmingly positive, and local counselors are very excited to bring this program to their students!

Fall 2020 Coalition Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended our October 22 Fall Coalition meeting and made it so special!  You can find a copy of the data presentation here, on the data tab of this website, and you can find further information about some of the microaggressions we discussed here, on the Racial Justice tab of this website.

We were delighted to present our 2020 Community Builder Award to Kia Burton-King of Community Action's Family Center.  Congratulations Kia and thank you for everything you bring and give to the community!

PEER Ambassadors

We are launching a new program for reaching out to local parents!  The PEER Ambassador Program (PEER stands for Parent Engagement, Enrichment, and Resources) is a collaboration between a number of different community organizations that work with parents and families.  Currently the host sites include The Recover Project, The Salasin Center, the North Quabbin Community Coalition, and Community Action’s Family Center (who also works with the Center for New Americans).

These organizations have nominated parents who are natural leaders from within their programs to participate in the PEER Ambassador self-paced training program, and then to represent their organizations and the Communities That Care Coalition in providing outreach and education to other parents in the region – helping to connect families to important online and local resources.  PEER Ambassadors receive monthly stipends for their participation as well as ongoing professional development opportunities.

2020 Community Action Plan and 2019 Teen Health Survey Data

The Communities That Care Coalition has revised its Community Action Plan and the latest version (the Coalition's fifth) was presented for approval at the full coalition meeting on October 25, 2019.  Also featured at the meeting:
  • a facilitated discussion about the importance of leading with race in a predominantly white rural area 
  • release and discussion of data from the 2019 Franklin County/North Quabbin Youth Risk Behavior Survey
  • presentation of the 2019 Mike Fritz Community Builder Award to Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernández from Greenfield Community College
  • networking and lunch
The 2019 survey data report is available on the data page of this website.

Family Day

Family Day is a national celebration of family dinners and a reminder of the importance of spending quality time together as a family. 

You'll find lots of ideas about family-friendly meals, conversation starters, dinnertime games, and more (like getting everyone to help prepare dinner and clean up afterwards!) at the Family Dinner Project and Family Day websites. Here's a post (with recipes!) about Family Dinner Day from our Parent Education Workshop, and listen in here for an interview with Bekki Craig of  CTC's Parent Education Workgroup on WHAI about Family Day.

Teen Resource Card

Get your pocket-sized card here. It's loaded with resources for jobs, health, housing, counseling, and more.

Shared Use and Community Kitchens Webinar

On September 24, 2018, the Communities That Care Coalition hosted a workshop for advocates of community use of space for food production and organizations interested in producing food products for sale or donation. For those unable to attend, the content of the  workshop was captured in a webinar available here.

What Schools Can Do: a report on local school policies and practices related to substance use

What Schools Can Do: Creative Ways Franklin County and North Quabbin Schools are Implementing DESE Guidance on Substance Use Prevention. This report shares findings from meetings at all of the area districts, including information on local trends in school policies and practices, program highlights, current challenges, and ideas for next steps to enhance existing practices. It outlines how districts across Franklin County and the North Quabbin have created policies and practices that are in line with recent guidance from The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and that respond to the needs of their local communities.  Local survey data is incorporated to provide further context.

In response to local interest, a special section on increasing equity in discipline includes research, best practices and local examples about how to respond to violations.

Throughout the report, clickable links to the Program Descriptions, an appendix and external websites provide an opportunity to learn more about specific programs.

Many thanks to everyone who met with us or provided information for this project!

Communities That Care featured on Channel 22 

Oct 2, 2018: 2018 Prevention Needs Assessment Survey results

Jan 11, 2017: LifeSkills Curriculum

Oct 12, 2016: 2016 Youth Risk Behavior Survey and health equity

Check out these online resources to find services in western and central Massachusetts

Look4Help is an online search tool for all kinds of services in Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions. It is a project of Community Action Pioneer Valley, together with Baystate Health and the United Way. Try it out here:

The North Central Massachusetts Community Resources Finder is an online search tool designed for all providers and clients in North Central Mass and the North Quabbin. It is a project of the Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative, under the leadership of Heywood Healthcare and HealthAlliance Hospital.

My Turn: "Steering our children clear of addiction"

Kat Allen's My Turn column ran in the Greenfield Recorder July 22, 2016. It highlights some of what parents of younger kids can do to prevent substance use. In case you missed it, you can find the article here.

Community Voices: needs assessment on local youth substance use
In 2015-2016, CTC conducted a set of interviews and focus groups as a part of a community assessment on the topic of youth substance use. Coordinating Council members sought out interviews with school personnel, service providers, and law enforcement officials who work directly with youth who use, and held focus groups with parents and youth who are familiar with or embedded in local youth culture, including a high-risk segment of that culture. 

Community members gathered to review findings from the community assessment and to share their own perspectives. Participants in this “Community Voices” session also viewed short videos created by area youth to share their experiences and knowledge about youth substance use. The assessment report is available here.