CADCA Congratulates the 2012 GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence Award Winners
A panel of coalition experts at the federal, state and local levels selected the following coalitions as CADCA’s 2012 GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence award winners: Hunterdon County Safe Communities Coalition in Flemington, N.J. and Liberty Alliance for Youth, Inc. in Liberty, Mo.
Sponsored by CADCA’s National Coalition Institute, the GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition of Excellence Awards program gives coalitions across the country the opportunity to receive national recognition for their contributions to community-level substance abuse and/or substance abuse-related outcomes. Applicants select one of three categories (Milestones, Coalition in Focus or Coalition of the Year) based on the outcomes they are highlighting.
The rigorous two-phase application process requires coalitions to present detailed information on their assessment, capacity, planning, implementation and evaluation as well as demonstrate their utilization of logic models to describe their work and track their progress over time. Coalition applicants often cite that winning is not the only reason they put the time and effort into applying for an award. Built into the application process is a strong technical assistance component where applicants receive support on topics such as logic model development, assessment, evaluation and data presentation to strengthen their ability to make the case for their contribution to community-level outcomes.
“The application process was one of the most beneficial documents we worked on all year. It forced us to pull our assessment data, strategies and outcomes together in one place. It showed us how much we had accomplished and where our holes were which helped put together a strong action plan for the coming year. I remember thinking, even if we don’t win, this has been a great exercise and our coalition is more organized and better prepared going forward,” said Peggy Dowd, of the Hunterdon County Safe Communities Coalition.
Milestones Award Winner
Hunterdon County Safe Communities Coalition serving Hunterdon County, N.J. was selected for the “Milestones Award” which recognizes younger coalitions, or those with a newer initiative, that demonstrate progress toward meeting long-term outcomes (reductions in substance abuse or substance abuse-related problems) as indicated by measurable, community-level changes intermediate outcomes.
From the beginning, social availability of alcohol was a major focus for the coalition. Student surveys revealed that between 90 percent (9th graders) and 98 percent (12th graders) of high school students felt that alcohol was easy or very easy to obtain. The coalition dug deeper to understand the local conditions contributing to this issue by conducting teen focus groups, key informant interviews and utilizing other local data sources.
They found that while drinking most commonly occurred at home or at a friend’s home without parental knowledge, a significant number of youth reported that their parents are in fact aware when they drink at home (i.e. 37 percent of 12th graders).
In addition, while young people typically accessed alcohol from friends over the age of 21, some youth reported that their parents provide the alcohol. The coalition also identified alcohol access points outside the home to include drinking under the bleachers at high school football games. Based on these local conditions, the coalition implemented a comprehensive set of strategies that included successfully advocating for the enactment of local ordinances in the county that impose fines and driver license suspensions for youth who possess or consume alcohol on private property without parental presence or consent (enactment increased by 25 percent). The coalition also implemented a sticker shock campaign to educate parents and adults about the social hosting laws and blocked off the area under the bleachers so youth could not gather there during football games. In addition to social access, the coalition also identified and addressed local conditions contributing to the root causes of perception of harm of underage drinking and parental approval.
Their combined efforts contributed to a decrease in the number of youth reporting alcohol is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain among all grades with the biggest change in the 12th graders (98 percent in 2007; 90 percent in 2011). Surveys also show that fewer youth are drinking at home without parental knowledge with 10th graders reporting 31 percent in 2007 and 27 percent in 2011 and 12th graders reporting 47 percent in 2007 and 35 percent in 2011. Underage drinking at home with parental knowledge has also decreased and more young people report it is harmful to “get drunk” (i.e. 80 percent in 2007 to 90 percent in 2011 among 10th graders and 72 percent in 2007 and 81 percent in 2011 among 12th graders). New survey data show that past 30-day alcohol use among youth is also on the decline and the coalition expects to sustain these results in the years ahead.
Coalition in Focus Award Winner
Liberty Alliance for Youth, Inc. (LAFYI) serving Liberty, Mo. highlighted their successes in the area of underage drinking and was selected for the “Coalition in Focus Award” which recognizes seasoned coalitions that demonstrate contributions to long-term outcomes (reductions in substance abuse or substance abuse-related problems) for a single substance.
The coalition conducted a comprehensive local community assessment using a wide variety of data sources including youth and adult focus groups, student and community surveys, and numerous archival data sources. Their assessment resulted in the identification of numerous local conditions contributing to youth alcohol use. For example, in their community, the major access points for alcohol among youth included parties where adults were providing (often in celebration of athletic games, prom and graduation) and retail stores that were not carding (31 percent) and/or did not know how to identify fake identification (20 percent of youth reported purchasing alcohol themselves). Other findings included few consequences being enforced for underage drinkers and a lack of school curriculum educating young people about the long-term health effects of underage drinking.
With a strong focus on policy, the coalition developed and implemented a comprehensive plan to address the issues. They educated the community on the existing policies such as the social host and keg registration laws. Their close ties with law enforcement contributed to their county prosecutor taking a no-tolerance stance toward adult hosted underage drinking parties, educating the parents, and pursuing maximum penalties. Successes such as increasing consequences of alcohol related offences for students involved in school athletics, working with area limo companies to terminate services for youth when in possession of alcohol or other drugs and 75 percent of area hotels and motels adopting policies to prohibit room rentals for celebratory events with minors sent the message that underage drinking is not tolerated in the community.
Other efforts included providing retail training at no cost and at times convenient to business operations, providing age verification software to alcohol retailers, increasing penalties and enforcement for retailers who sell to minors and retail owners agreeing to terminate employment of an employee that sells alcohol to minors. They also developed and delivered education programs on underage drinking in the high schools. Their assessment data and efforts make the case for their contributions to community change.
Their outcomes include a decline in retail non-compliance (31 percent in 2006 to 8 percent in 2011). Also, fewer students reporting that if they drank alcohol in their neighborhood they would not be caught by police (77 percent in 2006; 61 percent in 2012) and fewer adults believe it is okay to provide alcohol to minors (10 percent in 2007 and 7 percent in 2012). In the high school, alcohol-related suspensions increased initially (11 in 2007 to 21 in 2008) as a result of the coalition building awareness among school personal but then steadily decreased to 4 in 2012. Long-term outcomes include a reduction in 30-day alcohol use among youth in their school district (27 percent in 2006 and 12 percent in 2010) and a reduction in binge drinking from 11 percent in 2006 to 6 percent in 2012.
“Our coalition is excited and honored to receive the GOT OUTCOMES! Coalition in Focus Award and the recognition further motivates our work. The application process allowed us the opportunity to present our efforts and resulting outcomes in a way that others can understand and appreciate the power and impact of effective prevention strategies,” said Amy Tuso of Liberty Alliance for Youth, Inc.
The winning coalitions will receive their award onstage during the Awards Luncheon at CADCA’s 2013 National Leadership Forum on Feb. 4-7 at the National Harbor near Washington, D.C. Additional winner benefits include a Sony Bloggie touch camcorder and tripod, free registration, travel and hotel accommodations for one individual to attend the 2013 Forum, participation in the Forum Ideas Far and GOT OUTCOMES! workshop and inclusion in a variety of CADCA communications throughout the year.
“We congratulate these organizations on their accomplishments and for being true leaders in the field of substance abuse prevention. The CADCA GOT OUTCOMES! winners exemplify the excellent work that coalitions are doing around the country to prevent and reduce drug use in their communities,” said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA’s chairman and CEO.
For more information about GOT OUTCOMES!, contact CADCA or visit www.cadca.org/gotoutcomes.
For more information about the Forum, including booking your hotel room, visit CADCA’s Forum website.