Jefferson County Communities That Care

Jefferson County Communities That Care (CTC) [external link] is a coalition of approximately 100 stakeholders, community members, key leaders and youth. CTC uses a structured, evidence-based community change process focused on preventing substance misuse, interpersonal violence and hopelessness among youth in our community by reducing risk factors while improving protective factors.

Key Accomplishments

  • Created and promoted a parental resource guide, Twelve Talks to Have With Teens [external link], which garnered over 14,000 page views in the first year.
  • Engaged 88 Jeffco youth in coalition processes and decision-making as youth interns.
  • Created a set of comprehensive policy recommendations for Jeffco Schools to improve health education, substance misuse education and social-emotional learning.

Community Owned & Operated

  • Our coalition has 31 organizations and over 100 actively involved individuals.
  • Hundreds of local youth have provided insights at youth town halls annually since 2017.
  • Partners implement projects collaboratively with diverse stakeholders including youth, partnering agencies and other community coalitions.

Prioritized 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 toward substance use
  • Favorable youth attitudes toward substance use
  • Availability of substances
  • Community laws, norms and social rules
  • Limited opportunities for prosocial involvement with trusted adults 

Coalition Projects

  • Twelve Talks to Have With Teens [external link] - Offering conversation starters, tips and resources for having important conversations with teens.
  • Opportunities for Youth - Promoting opportunities for youth to build skills and have meaningful connections with adults, peers and their community.
  • Youth Research Internships - Collecting qualitative data from other local teenagers and advocating for policy and systems change in our community.
  • Navigating Substance Experimentation in Teens [external link] (NSET) - Presenting monthly free workshops for parents and guardians providing practical tools and resources in English and Spanish.
  • Policy Change - Advocating for policy and systems change that reduce risk factors or increase protective factors impacting community youth.


  • 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.