Members of the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition recently attended the Drug Free Communities New Grantee Training in Washington D.C. This training is required of all grantees entering year 1 or year 6 of the grant. Kris Rankin and Heidi Bainbridge attended sessions to learn how to enhance the work of the coalition.
The DFC program was created by the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, and was reauthorized by Congress in 2001 and 2006. Since 1998, ONDCP has awarded approximately 1,600 Drug-Free Communities grants to local communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Palau, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and, for the first time in FY 2010, the Federated States of Micronesia. The community coalitions’ goals are to address youth substance use. Coalitions that receive DFC funding must use the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF). The SPF is a community planning model that allows for all DFC coalitions to speak a common language and engage in a common process for forward progression. Data shows that communities receiving DFC funding have seen significant reductions in past 30-day use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana among middle and high school students.
Rankin and Bainbridge attended three days of required meetings with grant program staff, federal partners and general coalition sessions to assist the coalition in moving their goals forward over the next five years. Information was provided by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), Community Anti Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), plus many other acclaimed speakers. Van Buren County SAFE Coalition Coordinator Bainbridge was also provided with the honor of being a speaker on the year 6 panel that presented grant information to year 1 DFC grantees.
Information about the training will be shared with all SAFE Coalition members at the December meeting. Additional trainings will be attended by various coalition members over the course of the life of the Drug Free Communities Grant. If you are interested in learning more about the SAFE Coalition, their activities or the Drug Free Communities Grant you may call their office at 319-293-6412 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They may also be found on the web at http://www.vbsafecoalition.com .