Science-based prevention through communities that care: a model of social work practice for public health.
The widespread adoption of science-based prevention requires local infrastructures for prevention service delivery. Communities That Care (CTC) is a tested prevention service delivery system that enables a local coalition of community stakeholders to use a science-based approach to prevention and improve the behavioral health of young people. This paper uses data from the Community Youth Development Study (CYDS), a community-randomized trial of CTC, to examine the extent to which better internal team functioning of CTC coalitions increases the community-wide adoption of science-based prevention within 12 communities, relative to 12 matched comparison communities. Specifically, this paper examines the potential of both a direct relationship between coalition functioning and the community-wide adoption of science-based prevention and a direct relationship between functioning and the coalition capacities that ultimately enable the adoption of science-based prevention. Findings indicate no evidence of a direct relationship between four dimensions of coalition functioning and the community-wide adoption of a science-based approach to prevention, but suggest a relationship between coalition functioning and coalition capacities (building new member skills and establishing external linkages with existing community organizations) that enable science-based prevention.