Communities That Care

Jefferson County Communities That Care (CTC) is a coalition of approximately 100 stakeholders, community CTC One Pager Opens in new windowmembers, key leaders and youth. CTC uses a structured, evidence-based community change process focused on preventing substance misuse, sexual/relationship violence & homelessness/anxiety among youth in our community. By reducing risk factors and improving protective factors, CTC is bringing real change to the community. 

Youth Risk Factors

The CTC process guides the community through the process of matching risk factors evident in community data with proven methods for addressing those risks. CTC has identified these key risk factors for youth in Jefferson County:

  • Favorable parental attitudes towards substance misuse
  • Favorable youth attitudes towards substance misuse
  • Availability of substances
  • Community laws, norms and social rules
  • Limited opportunities for prosocial involvement with trusted adults 


  • Twelve Talks to Have With Teens provides Twelve Talks Rack Cards Opens in new windowparents, guardians and other trusted adults with conversation starters, information, and resources related to a variety of challenging topics including substance use, boundaries, friends, dating and much more. Download our partner toolkit and sign up for the newsletter for conversation tips, key facts and resources for the talk of the month. 
  • Trustable Adults provides a comprehensive list of Trustable Adults Rack Cards 2 Opens in new windowtraining opportunities for adults who work with youth. Jefferson County youth need adults who they can trust and who will listen to them. We're here to help you gather the skills and knowledge through a variety of training opportunities from our health department and local partners.
    • Partner Workshops
      • Positive Youth Development
      • Youth Mental Health First Aid
      • QPR Suicide Prevention
      • More coming soon! 
  • Navigating Substance Experimentation in Teens (NSET) is a no-cost NSET Workshop Third Sheet Cardsparenting workshop held on the first Wednesday of each month. The workshop provides information and support for parents or caregivers whose teen is experimenting with alcohol, marijuana, vaping and other substances.   
  • Paid Youth Research Internship program for high school-aged youth in Wheat Ridge, Lakewood and Edgewater, Colorado, which includes hosting a yearly town hall and producing videos and other products to educate adults or other youth about their findings related to substance misuse, interpersonal violence and/or hopelessness and anxiety.


  • 47 communities across Colorado are being funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Communities That Care initiative to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors among youth. This is a five-year grant from 2016 to 2021 and is funded by marijuana tax dollars. Jefferson County is projected to receive over $1.3 million in funding over five years for this project.
  • Additional funding is provided by a one-year grant from the Community First Foundation and a five-year Drug-Free Communities grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • JCPH, in cooperation with Jefferson County’s Collaborative Youth Leadership Collaborative (CYLC), will utilize funding to facilitate CTC efforts focused in the following areas: Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and Edgewater / Jefferson Junior/ Senior High School.
  • Jefferson County CTC will use adolescent health data collected through the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey. The survey is administered in Jeffco high schools and middle schools in the fall of odd-numbered years. Additionally, the coalition conducts yearly youth town halls that give youth in our community a voice in coalition priority setting and decision making.