Youth Services Alliance receives grant for Cass County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition

Last Updated on February 4, 2021 by Youth Services Alliance

SOURCE: News release from Youth Services Alliance

Logansport, IN – Youth Services Alliance (YSA), a Cass County nonprofit organization, in the field of substance abuse prevention received a Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program Grant on December 31, 2020 The grant was endowed by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the purpose of operating, expanding, and sustaining the Cass County’s Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (CCSAPC).

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program was established under the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, P.L. 105-20. The purpose of DFC funding is to address two major goals: 1) establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, public and private non-profit agencies, and Federal, state, local and tribal governments to support the efforts of community coalitions, and 2) reduce substance use among youth and, over time, among adults. The DFC Program is funded and directed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and partners with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for day-today management. Money will be allocated in order to establish the following requirements:

• The coalition will have at least one representative from the required 12 sectors, as outlined by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997;

• The coalition must maintain meeting minutes that demonstrates it is a unique entity that has substantial involvement from its members and is working toward to the two goals of the DFC Program;

• The coalition must address multiple drugs in its 12-Month Action Plan for each year of funding;

• The coalition must have as its principal mission the reduction of youth substance use;

• The coalition must provide data every two years on the following core measures for alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription drugs for three grades (6th-12th):

o Past 30–day use;

o Perception of risk or harm;

o Perception of parental disapproval of use; and

o Perception of peer disapproval of use

The project will be led by Rick Hollering and Nikki Malott at Youth Services Alliance. Rick Hollering will serve as Project Director for the grant. Rick has worked in the field of prevention for over 20 years in Cass County, he is the founder of the after school program that has continued to run in local schools (R.O.P.E.S.) Rick also performs workshops for youth and family development in the county. He has recently created his own program to support social emotional learning in our youth, W.A.I.T. (What am I Thinking). Nikki Malott has worked for YSA since 2016 as a strategies coordinator for the Partnership for Success, prevention grant that ended in 2020. She is also the coordinator for the local coordinating council (Partners for a Drug Free Cass County), she will serve as Project Coordinator for this grant. The grant may have been awarded to YSA, but this is a community grant. YSA will work with partnering organizations to build upon and expand the Prevention Coalition over the next 5 years. The coalition plans to meet quarterly and active members will assist in planning and implementing the agreed upon Action Plan.

“We hope to build upon our existing coalition; our biggest goal is to bring more youth to the table to assist us in prevention efforts. There is a quote we hear often in prevention ‘Nothing about us, without us’ and we plan to keep this in mind when coming up with our action plans and goals as a group. If we want to reach youth successfully, we need them at the table” says Nikki Malott.

**Youth Services Alliance was founded in 1999 with the vision of working with schools, churches, and other youth serving organizations to maximize resources to better impact youth and families. YSA is a resource to put on camps, leadership events, and community service projects with youth and other partnering organizations.

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