FAMILY PROGRAMS

DTBY Program for Families with Preschool Youth

DTBY was one of the original Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Model Programs and is designed to address moderating factors in children and families that are linked to reduced drug and alcohol use later.

Parents and their preschool children (2-5 years of age) participate together to increase key protective factors that promote resilience within the family and individual. Siblings and other key family members are encouraged to participate in the programming.

Families meet for 10 to 12 weekly sessions over three or four months for 2 hours of workshops plus a family meal. To complete the program, family members attend 20+ hours of classroom activities. Optional monthly After-DARE support groups and yearly booster workshops continue to support families.

Families attend the program together:

  • The parent component focuses on personal and parenting efficacy, stress management, child development, and home management skills in addition to the key DTBY principles.
  • The youth component builds cognitive skills, mastery motivation, social competencies, emotional knowledge and problem solving, decision making, self management and communication skills. A key topic is covered at each workshop with developmentally appropriate activities for all ages.
  • The family component includes weekly family meals, social time, and joint parent-child activities.

An incentive program enhances recruitment and encourages the families to complete the program, including

  • family meals,
  • a supportive, non-judgmental environment that builds on family strengths, and
  • a financial incentive for completion of all workshops ($200 for each adult family member that completes the program).

Training by an approved DTBY trainer is required to implement this program. The Replication Manual provides additional implementation information. 


Bridges for families with 5 - 8 year old youth and their teachers.

During the meaningful early years of learning, the DARE to be You Bridges project brings families and school systems together to build a strong social and educational foundation for children. Families and school personnel complete a series of workshops designed to support the connection between home and school. These are often staged in a neutral community setting. The relationships and trust between families and school personnel that are fostered by the program have been shown to have a long-term impact on children's success in school.

There are 11 weeks of 2-hour sessions over a three to four month period. Social interaction between school staff, families and DTBY staff is encouraged by providing dinner at each session. All family members are encouraged to attend the workshops with age appropriate DARE to be You activities provided for the siblings. During the demonstration and replications a financial incentive of $200 for completion of 20 hours of training was provided for each school staff member and up to two parents or other caregivers per family. This incentive is highly recommended whenever possible.

The adult component of the workshops focuses on family and classroom management skills and improving environments for children's development, promoting self-efficacy and self-management skills and cultivates a stronger family and classroom relationships. The children's program (for ages 5 to 7) focuses on self-efficacy development, self-responsibility, cognitive-social development, emotional development (including fostering empathy), communication skills, and problem solving/decision making.

Care to Wait Family Program

The DTBY Care to Wait program uses the basic DARE to be You model adapted for middle school youth and their families and includes a sex education/abstinence education program. The goal of the program is to reduce teen pregnancy and risky sexual behaviors in teens by enhancing individual protective factors that support youth resilience - particularly self-efficacy, decision-making, and peer refusal skills - and strengthening their family relationships - notably communication about intimacy and sex, and parental monitoring. The DTBY Care to Wait curriculum is based on the model DTBYcurriculum that has shown to be effective in cultivating youth resilience by building protective factors that buffer them from risky behaviors such as substance abuse. This program is in its eighth year of research.

Families meet for 11 sessions over three or four months. To complete the program, family members attend 20 hours of classroom activities.

This family component has three basic components:

  • The parent component focuses on personal and parenting efficacy, stress management, home management skills including monitoring and strengthening family communication and positive relationships. Adults also learn ways to talk to their youth about sex and intimacy, abstinence.
  • Youth learn important skills in personal efficacy and self management, decision making including identifying risky situations, improved communication and social skills. Practice in key protective elements, like refusal skills, are included in the curriculum. Age appropriate activities are available for younger siblings.
  • The family component includes weekly family meals, social time, and parent-youth activities. Parents and youth have weekly activities together to practice communication and develop close family relations. They also participate together is one session with activities about human reproduction, STI's and ways to stay safe.

An incentive program to recruit and encourage the families' completion of the program includes:

  • family meals,
  • a supportive, non-judgmental environment that builds on family strengths, and
  • a financial incentive for completion of all workshops. (The original model provided $200 for each adult family member that completed the program.)

Training by an approved DTBY trainer is required to implement this program. See Research and Publications for evaluation results on the original study.

Strong Extended Families and Grandparents raising Grandchildren.  

This is a specific adaptation for families under stresses caused by substance abuse or other family traumas.


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