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Institute On Family and Neighborhood Life

Rural Capacity Building Projects

IFNL has developed a long term relationship with the Chesterfield County Coordinating Council (CCCC), a consortium of more than 60 organizations serving the needs of community residents.  Three projects over the last six years have resulted from this collaboration.

Rural Substance Abuse/Mental Health Treatment Planning Project

The purpose of this two year project was to assess existing substance abuse and mental health treatment services in Chesterfield County and identify service gaps and barriers to services for County residents with substance abuse or mental health treatment needs.  This information was used to develop a strategic plan to improve substance abuse and mental health treatment services in the County.  The assessment involved a systematic review of current services and interviews with agency managers, interviews with consumers, and focus groups of professional providers.

Read the final report here.

Stop the Violence

Stop the Violence was a two-year initiative to identify the prevalence and incidence of relationship violence against girls and young women ages 12 to 17 in Chesterfield County; the needs and resources relative to the problem; and to plan and implement an evidence-based intervention to reduce rates of relationship violence against the target population.

A planning committee of project staff, community service providers, young women ages 12 to 17, and community representatives planned a survey of middle- and high-school students, collected community planning and social agency data, reviewed dating violence prevention programs, and developed a social marketing campaign to increase awareness of dating and other relationship violence among adolescents and the general community.  The dating violence program review led to the adoption of Safe Dates, a dating violence prevention curriculum, that was implemented in each middle- and high-school in the County.

Read the final report here.

Drug Free Chesterfield

Drug Free Chesterfield is a five-year initiative to reduce substance use among adolescents and young adults through the development of a broad-based community coalition that would assume responsibility for planning, implementing, and monitoring a variety of program activities to strengthen the capacity of communities to support young people and their families.  The project is now in its fourth year and has a well-developed youth development coalition acting on a comprehensive strategic plan developed from a comprehensive, community-wide needs and resources assessment.  The coalition is working to strengthen the capacity of youth serving organizations across the County and has implemented a community awareness campaign.

Student survey

Initiated as a component of the Stop the Violence project and continuing as part of Drug Free Chesterfield, the Student Survey gauges middle and high school students’ attitudes toward family and dating violence; experience of violence in theirs’ and their friends’ lives; views of the acceptability of violent behaviors in dating and family relationships; views on more general aspects of dating relationships; substance use; and perceptions of the extent of and community response to relationship violence in the community.

The survey began in 2003 as part of a broader effort to examine a range of factors implicated in dating and family violence and included some questions regarding general risk behaviors.  For the 2006-2007 school year, the survey was revised to include new items related to substance use and the student’s own and perceived parental attitudes toward substance use.  For some substance use factors, then, three years of data are available while other factors are reported across six years.  Data were not collected in 2010 but the survey was revised again for 2011 by including more detailed items related to dating violence, including sexual violence in dating relationships. These data have just been collected and a report across seven years of data collection will be available shortly.

Read the report of survey findings from 2003-2009 here.

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