Our History,
Mission & Priorities

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Our History

West Chester Communities That Care (WCCTC) was established in 1998 with the support of West Chester Area School District (WCASD) to maintain a standard of excellence in both schools and the community.  

 

 

 

Based on research out of the University of Washington, the national, evidence-based, Communities That Care (CTC) model for community development uses prevention science to promote healthy youth development, improve youth outcomes, and reduce problem behaviors. The process uses an early intervention and prevention framework to guide communities to identify their local needs, set priorities, and implement tested, effective strategies to address those needs.

Each CTC across the country collects data from teens in participating schools on youth exposure and behavior with regard to addictive substances, violence and mental health through the PA Youth Survey (PAYS).  PAYS is the data collection tool used by all CTC's in Pennsylvania.  Thanks to the longevity of the relationship between WCCTC and WCASD, West Chester has over 20 years of local data on which to base conclusions and set priorities. 

We are pleased to partner with so many quality organizations, local parents and professionals committed to building protection against youth risk into the fabric of our community.  Find a list of our Prevention Partners here.

Our mission is to prevent substance abuse among youth, promote positive choices and to strengthen families.

 
 
Our Data

The Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) is given every two years to all WCASD 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th graders. Using local PAYS data we are able to study trends specific to West Chester youth in behavior and perceptions around alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, prescription drugs and general mental health topics.  We encourage you to learn more about our data.

  • View the full 115 page WCASD PAYS Report which gives detailed information on the questions asked and responses by grade level.  The full report also outlines the risk and protective factors most relevant to our community. 

  • Download our PAYS Summary in English or the Spanish version that highlights some of the most important points from the most recent PA Youth Survey.  This summary was developed based on input from our Research Committee made up of parents, school district personnel and prevention professionals.

  • Visit our PAYS Data page for information specific to various addictive substances along with strategies for parents to prevent use among youth.

 
Our Priorities

Our priorities are based on the greatest risk and lowest protective factors found in our bi-annual PAYS Report and are reevaluated every two years. 
We believe a community wide response is the most effective strategy to address these current priorities.

  1. To increase the perceived risk that area youth associate with addictive substances.

  2. To improve Commitment to School among local youth.

  3. To decrease the number of teens reporting that they feel sad or depressed most days.

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“Total Risk” is defined as the percentage of students who have more than a specidfied number of risk factors operating in their lives. (5 or more for 6th and 8th graders and 7 or more for 10 and 12th graders) 

“Total Protection" is defined as the percentage of students who have more than 3 protective factors operating in their lives.

"Action expresses priorities."

- Mahatma Ghandi