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Organization Releases New Risk Factors

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The Swan Valley Communities That Care (SVCTC) held their Community Information Meeting on Thursday (Dec. 14) in the SVRSS Multi-purpose Room to present the 2016 Youth Survey that was conducted by students in the Swan Valley School Division (SVSD) from Grades 7-12 and Data Report to the community.
“The information obtained from the Youth Survey is important because it provides SVCTC with a road map as to what programs are working and where other gaps may exist or need addressing,” said SVCTC Board Chair James Wigley.
The survey is completed every two to three years to help the community stay informed with the changing factors.
In 2013 the two selected factors were family conflict and rewards for anti social behaviors. From these two factors the SVCTC has created three different programs to help target the problems; Guiding Good Choices Parenting Program, Triple P Group Programs - Positive Parenting Program, and Life Skills Training Program for the middle school curriculum.
Many students and parents have completed these programs successfully, allowing change in a positive direction and seeing these risk factors lesson over time.
Upon attaining the results from the current survey, representatives from Mental Health, SVSD, SVCTC, and the Youth Pastor combined their knowledge to take it on. Members from the University of Washington then went over the results to help to begin the four step approach; define the problems to be addressed, identifying both risk and protective factors, selecting evidence based interventions and implementing and monitoring the selected interventions.
The 2016 survey showed four areas of concern:
• Alcohol and drug use in a community domain. SVCTC explains this by laws regulating alcohol and other drug sales and use are poorly enforced. Further, adults communicate that it is normative or acceptable for minors to use alcohol or drugs.
• Community Disorganization. Students report that they may not feel safe in their neighborhood or that there is crime there.
• Parental attitudes towards antisocial behaviour and drug use in a family domain. Youth reported that there were some permissive attitudes towards drug and alcohol use or antisocial behaviour.
• And the last being Intentions to use drugs from a peer individual domain.
“The good news with some of this is that the programs that were continuing should address this,” said Data Committee Chair Jessica Lacasse.
“One of the best preventions for drugs, alcohol and tabacco use are positive activity, giving the youth something else to do.”
Attendees were then asked to prioritize the risk factors as to which should be taken care of first and hand in their votes.
The SVCTC plans to look over these results and come to a conclusion of two factors to further address with programming.
“SVCTC is a community initiative and requires community buy in and participation,” said Wigley. “Its important that they keep supporting SVCTC and it’s efforts to create a more sustainable and healthy environment for our youth.”
The three programs will continue as their successes have been noted and the SVCTC will get into the planning stages of new programs to approach the issues of our youth in the near future.

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Jakki Lumax
REPORTER
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