Club Programming Proves to Reduce Teen Drinking by 10%

Image Courtesy Of Center for Drug and Health Studies at the University of Delaware Written by Dr. Suchi Hiraesave  

Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware is a Strategic Prevention Framework – Partnership for Success (SPF-PFS) funded agency.  Its prevention efforts has resulted in a 10% reduction in underage drinking in just 20 months in the SPF-PFS funded communities, a tremendous impact in a short time.  Gilbert V., a Club member participating in the program said, “Smart Moves has given me the tools needed to be aware of the choices I make and how my decisions can future affect me in trying to accomplish my goals”.

 

The Strategic Prevention Framework – Partnerships for Success (SPF-PFS) is a federal initiative operated out of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  Delaware’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health leads the Delaware SPF-PFS efforts and, through them, community agencies are funded to do prevention work throughout the state, with a focus on underage drinking and prescription drug misuse by young people between the ages of 12 and 25.  The Strategic Prevention Framework is a planning tool that guides prevention work under this initiative.  It includes five steps: Assess Needs, Build Capacity, Plan, Implement and Evaluate.

 

The Center for Drug and Health Studies at the University of Delaware provides evaluation services for this grant.  The evaluation team provides assistance to SPF-PFS funded community agencies in the following ways: assisting with problem identification and program selection, providing data management resources and supports, tracking process and outcome measures, and assisting with federal reporting requirements.

 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware as a SPF-PFS grant recipient, implements SMART Moves, a nationally acclaimed evidence based prevention program in Newark, Georgetown and Dover Clubs. SMART Moves (Skills mastery and Resistance Training) helps young people resist alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and avoid premature sexual activity. The program features interactive, small-group activities designed to increase participants’ peer support, enhance life skills, build resiliency and strengthen leadership skills. This year-round program uses age-specific modules that engage Club staff, parents, community members and older teen members in a team approach to prevention. The program also offers prevention based alternative activities such as Friday Teen Nights; Keystone Leadership Club; and building youth coalitions to combat underage drinking.

 

Club youth that have participated in the program provide feedback below:

Being a part of the program and learning about setting goals and making positive choices, helped me achieve better grades and graduating with confidence”- Russell H.

 

I’m younger than most of the people in the group and SMART Moves shows me how to be a good role model for kids younger than me”- Patrick H.

 

This program has been recently expanded to Clarence Fraim and the H. Fletcher Brown Clubs in Wilmington; as well as the New Castle Club and Appoquinimink Club.

 

Funding for this project (SP020704) has been provided by the Department for Health and Social Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health–‐State of Delaware through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).