Prevention-Smart Communities

Think about the 1 to 10 scale!

Caring neighborhood and communities

Youth may benefit from the family’s involvement with neighbors. If the neighborhood a child lives in is dangerous, you can turn to support from other communities where the child is a participant; such as religious organizations; ethnic or cultural groups; or special interest groups such as sport or performing arts clubs.

Encourage your child to be part of your efforts to develop healthy relationships with neighbors or community members.

Make sure your child recognizes and knows the names of trustworthy neighbors whom they can ask for help if needed. Also your child can help neighbors with simple jobs, such as carrying groceries up a flight of stairs or reaching a high shelf, posting letters, or moving furniture.

Have conversations with youth about what neighbors are doing. Encourage them to have a sense of concern for them, or to develop awareness of personal safety issues if the immediate neighborhood is not safe. Talk about changes or events that are occurring in the neighborhood.

Community that values youth

Youth benefit from knowing that a community supports the health and well-being of young people.

When parents and other adults are active in a community’s youth activities, it shows that they value youth. Examples of this are volunteering as sports coaches, activity leaders, after-school program leaders, and helping the community.

Youth gives service to others

Encourage your child to contribute to other people. Giving an hour or two each week to help out with a project contributes to personal satisfaction and a sense of community membership.

Many schools offer supervised structured volunteer opportunities for students during after-school hours.

There is also the possibility of encouraging them to help in their own community.

Creative activities

Regular involvement in artistic activities, such as art, music, theater, etc., can help your child acquire skills and can encourage them to use their free time in positive ways.

These activities can be modest in scope, i.e., they don’t have to be classes at an art academy or a professional theater. Try to rely on community resources for creative activity programming to provide easy access for youth. More formal programs / classes can be useful when a child shows continued interest or expresses interest in advanced levels of involvement.

Sports and Youth programs

Regular involvement in organized group activities that are supervised by adults promote asset-building. Examples include participating in sports, clubs, and organizations at school and in the community.

Not all young people enjoy sport or are good at it so try and find something your child enjoys and where they experience achievement and enjoyment.

Religious community

If consistent with your values, promote your child’s participation in church, temple, or mosque, and related religious activities.

Prevention-Smart launched for initial evaluation on June 26th 2009. If you have any comments or feedback, please email us via the contact form.