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Evidence-based Programs

The Communities that Care process assists communities to select and implement evidence-based programs and strategies to promote healthy youth development in accordance with the community’s identified priorities. “Evidence-based” on this definition refers to a documented project logic that has been evaluated and shown positive results in one or more experimental or good quality evaluation studies.


Communities that Care in Australia typically requires communities to undertake an evidence-based program early on in the Communities that Care process.   This ensures participating communities are not solely engaged in a planning process, but actively contributing to the delivery of prevention science from the outset.   The aim is to improve understanding of and support for evidence-based programs with the expectation of increasing the amount and quality of their delivery in Phase 5.


Guide to Australian Prevention Strategies

The Communities that Care Guide to Australian Prevention Strategies (2012) includes detailed information on evidence-based programs which have been selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of effectiveness from good quality evaluation studies in preventing youth health and social problems by reducing developmental risk factors, while also enhancing protective factors;
  2. Feasibility for implementation and monitoring by Communities that Care coalitions;
  3. Availability of support and advice to assist Australian implementation.

Prevention strategies are being rapidly developed and increasingly evaluated using experimental designs.  Communities are encouraged to take a responsible approach to seeking out and promoting the dissemination of evaluated prevention strategies.  Where previously unevaluated strategies are implemented, communities can request good quality evaluations.


Additional resources

Communities are also encouraged to access the ARACY Nest What works for kids.

This Australian-based online resource provides a searchable database of relevant evidence-based programs, practices and tools and provides opportunities for users to contribute to the database, with information about additional programs, practices and tools