Leveraging Resources and Engaging Local Organizations to Create a Culture of Collaboration and Prevention
Collaboration is important in any community, but in suburban-urban populations with multiple townships, school systems and high diversity, it becomes a necessity for success. This session will share how one Drug Free Communities coalition, serving nearly a million residents in a collar county of Chicago, coordinated cross-system collaborations to implement sustainable prevention strategies in after school programs throughout the county. The DuPage County Youth Leadership Project is a partnership among our DFC coalition, the Public Health Department at a local university, a Juvenile Justice Collaboration and civic group, Lions Clubs International Foundation. These groups came together around a common goal: to reduce youth violence and substance use and promote public health in vulnerable communities throughout DuPage County. After months of strategic planning, identifying barriers and seizing opportunities, this goal is being achieved by increasing youth civic engagement and leadership through the delivery of Lions Quest, an evidence-based curriculum that teaches life and citizenship skills, and our Youth Leadership Project Toolkit, to youth attending after school programs within several Neighborhood Resource Centers (NRCs) in DuPage County. In addition to highlighting how this cross-sector collaboration is working in our community, the presentation will also share the current successes and challenges and ideas for expansion. Participants who attend this session will also be encouraged to explore ways their community coalitions can partner with local organization working towards a similar goals in order to maximize resources and avoid duplicating efforts within the community. This program was recently recognized by NACCHO as a Promising Practice.
1. Participants will have a better understanding of how to engage local partners in sustainable prevention strategies.
2. Participants will understand the importance of coalitions pursuing cross-system collaborations and how to leverage resources among partners.
3. Participants will be introduced to the evidence based curriculum Lions Quest, as well as tools and strategies to assess and strengthen the capacity of partnerships engaged in prevention education.
DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team
Program Development Specialist
Lions Clubs International Foundation