The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition was awarded the Iowa Partnership for Success (IPFS) Grant in February 2015 to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County. The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition’s IPFS project is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
During the 2016-17 Fiscal Year the coalition is continuing to build capacity and address the five strategies it was funded to work on as follows:
1) Alcohol Restrictions at Community Events at Privately Owned Facilities: The coalition has begun working with privately owned facilities to help them implement alcohol policies focused on the best practices for alcohol service at their location. Four facilities have established a “No Alcohol Allowed” policy. The coalition is working with two other facilities to develop written alcohol restriction policies and is in contact with three other facilities about whether or not they would like to develop policies for their facilities.
2) Alcohol Restrictions in Public Places: The coalition researched what alcohol restriction policies are being followed in each town and the county. Coalition members visited with each city council in July to present them with information on policies they could use in their town that would address the availability of alcohol to youth in public places, such as public parks and community ball fields. Coalition members will be visiting with the city councils in January to find out if they are interested in implementing alcohol restriction policies for their public places.
3) Substance Abuse Prevention Programs for Youth: The coalition is working with the Van Buren Community School District to implement the Life Skills Training Program in the 7th and 8th grades. This program is a groundbreaking substance abuse and violence prevention program based on more than 30 years of rigorous scientific research. During the 2017-18 school year the 7th grade students will be completing Level I of the curriculum and the 8th grade students will be completing Level II as the curriculum builds upon itself. The first group of 7th grade students began the class in September and will complete it on October 4th. The next group of 7th grade students will begin the class on October 5th.
4) Underage Drinking Prevention Media Campaign: The coalition has worked with local media outlets to implement IDPH’s “What Do You Throw Away” underage drinking prevention media campaign. It is currently displayed on the billboard in Keosauqua; posters in the Van Buren County Hospital & Clinics; posters and screensavers at local libraries; posters, electronic billboard ads, and computer backgrounds at the Van Buren Community Middle/High School; posters at the Lacey Keosauqua State Park; and posters in local convenience stores.
5) Social Host Ordinance: A Social Host Ordinance would address the problem of adults knowingly providing a place for an underage drinking party. The coalition currently is working to educate community members and government officials on why this ordinance would be helpful in Van Buren County.
For more information on the Van Buren County IPFS Project or to join the coalition and its work please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.