Communities that Care. We all make a difference!
The Communities That Care Coalition (CTC) brings together youth, parents, schools, community agencies, and local governments to promote the health and well-being of young people in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region. 
CTC is co-hosted by Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions and the Partnership for Youth, a program of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments
For a quick introduction to CTC, watch a 3-minute video about the coalition's work.
Parent Education Series 

The Communities That Care Coalition is collaborating with Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Greenfield Safe Schools Safe Streets, and the Gill-Montague Community School Partnership to offer a series of events for parents of teens and tweens. Three events are scheduled for the coming school year. All will take place at the hospital, with pizza dinner at 6:00pm followed by the program 6:30-8:00pm. Share a flyer with your friends and mark your calendars:

  • "Marijuana and the Developing Brain." Find out how marijuana affects teens differently than adults, and hear tips for talking with teens about drugs and alcohol. December 3, 2019. Register here.

  • Just Talk About It: Youth Stress, Depression, Anxiety, and Crisis. Learn about warning signs of stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, and gain the knowledge to act before crisis hits. Features speakers from Minding Your Mind. February 6, 2020. Register here.

  • "Conversations with Our Kids: the Supportive Magic of Not Giving Advice."  Learn and practice skills to make tough conversations with teens easier. April 2, 2020. Register here.
Please contact us if you have ideas for events that would be helpful for parents raising teens and others who work with youth.

Released Friday, October 25: The Coalition's 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.  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 celebrated September 23

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. Our sister coalition the Gill-Montague Community School Partnership has posted additional family dinner tips on its website, and Bekki Craig of  CTC's Parent Education Workgroup was interviewed on WHAI about Family Day. Listen in here


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 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, and the five videos here.