Communities That Care

Communities That Care (CTC) is an evidence-based process that helps prevent problems before they start. Jefferson County Communities That Care is a coalition comprised of 100 stakeholders, community members, key CTC One Pager Opens in new windowleaders 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 

Positive Youth Development

The CTC process results in healthier communities that use positive youth development to help children grow up with more hope, opportunity and better outcomes. In a randomized controlled trial, youth from CTC communities were:

  • 37% less likely to binge drink
  • 25% less like to engage in crime
  • 32% more likely to have abstained from the use of any illegal drug

Communities That Care returns $4.17 per dollar invested by preventing youth tobacco use and delinquency.

Jefferson County CTC

  • CTC has efforts in 47 communities across Colorado are being funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
  • This is a five-year grant (2016 to 2021) funded by marijuana tax dollars. Jefferson County is projected to receive funding for this project totaling more than $1.3 million over five years.
  • Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH), in cooperation with Jefferson County’s Collaborative Youth Leadership Collaborative (CYLC), will utilize funding to facilitate CTC efforts focused on the following areas: Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and Edgewater / Jefferson High School.
  • Jefferson County CTC will use adolescent health data collected through the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey. The survey was administered in Jeffco high schools and middle schools in the fall of 2017.


  • Worked with more than 40 youth interns to collect insights form peers
  • Conducted a resource assessment, which identified more than 500 resources in Jefferson County that reduce risk factors and improve protective factors
  • Collected extensive data to identify problems and solutions
  • Created an action plan in January 2019

Action Plan

  • Promote talking to teens and link caregivers to resources through the "12 Questions for Teens" campaign
  • Prevent adults from providing to minors and hosting parties involving substance misuse
  • Advocate for equitable approaches to enforcement of Minor in Possession ticketing and diversion programs
  • Support social, emotional and behavioral health learning at the middle and high school level
  • Train adults to help youth: Jefferson County Communities That Care trustable adult designation