Reducing barriers to learning with Communities That Care

J David Hawkins, Margaret Kuklinski, and Abigail Fagan describe an effective approach for preventing some of the problems that can stand in the way of achievement and engagement in school

EDUCATORS WANT PUPILS TO COME TO school ready and motivated to learn, yet they are all too familiar with barriers to engagement and achievement. Many risks threaten today’s young people and can lead to other problems, like substance abuse and delinquency, which themselves jeopardise pupils’ ability to succeed. Communities That Care (CTC) is a community-based prevention system designed to reduce risks affecting pupils and increase positive influences, with the overall aim of fostering healthy development.

What we know
● Problem behaviours, like substance abuse and anti-social behaviour, are barriers to learning.
● They increase risk for school disengagement and failure.
● Communities That Care (CTC) provides educators and other stakeholders with tools and skills for reducing barriers to learning.
● Communities using CTC select evidence-based school and community prevention programmes to reduce community-specific risks and problem behaviours.
● CTC effectively prevents alcohol and tobacco use and anti-social behaviour in young people.

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February 2012