Model Program

CASASTART (Striving to Achieve Rewarding Tomorrows)

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017
http://www.casastart.org

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Contact Information:
Mr. Larry F. Murray, LMSW
Vice President and Director of Youth Programs
212.841.5208
lmurray@casacolumbia.org

Program Specification:

Emphasis:

Gender:

Rating:

Prevention
Intervention

Both

Strong Evidence of Effectiveness

Age/Grade Level:

Target Settings:

Target Groups:

Elementary
Middle School

Rural
Urban
Suburban
Inner City
Tribal

Individuals

Ethnicity:

Other Participation Criteria:

All Ethnicities

High risk students with at least four risk factors in their lives

Description:

CASASTART brings together three important institutions - a social service or health agency, the local law enforcement department and local schools - in order to foster healthy development among high-risk, 8-13 year-old youth and their families, and to help reduce the sale of illegal drugs and related crime in target neighborhoods. It uses an intensive case management approach (1:15), a strength-based youth development approach, a comprehensive mix of eight services and a communication strategy designed to keep all partners informed and to involve the broader community. Young people can participate in the program for up to two years.

Program Descriptors Include:
Academic Improvement, Attendance/Truancy, Bullying/Violence, Community Collaboration, Family/Parental Involvement, Mentoring/Tutoring, Service Learning, Substance Abuse

Starting Date: 1992
Students Served Per Year: 500+
Last Verified: 2010

Risk Factors:

Protective Factors:

Program addresses the following:

Individual factors

  • Has a learning disability or emotional disturbance
  • Parenthood
  • High-risk peer group
  • High-risk social behavior
  • Highly socially active outside of school
  • Low achievement
  • Retention/overage for grade
  • Poor attendance
  • Low commitment to school
  • Misbehavior
  • Early aggression

Family factors

  • Low socioeconomic status
  • High family mobility
  • Family disruption
  • Low contact with school

Community factors

  • Family composition/socioeconomic status
  • Local labor market/neighborhood stability

Program promotes the following:

Relationships

  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Clear social norms
  • Good relationships with parents, peers, and teachers
  • Involvement with positive peer activities
  • Perception of support from adults and peers

Independence

  • Positive/resilient temperament

Competence

  • Social competencies
  • Self efficacy

Creativity

  • Problem-solving skills

Optimism

  • Optimistic

Program Resources:

Annual Cost:

The annual cost range of the program is $100,000 - $200,000 or over $2000 per student.

Funding Sources Include:

Program Staff Includes:

Federal Agencies
State Agencies
Local/City/County Agencies
Foundations
Donations

Teachers
Counselors
Social Workers
SROs

Materials Used:

Supporting / Partner Organizations:

Instructional Texts/Manuals

We partner with organizations throughout the country that serve as lead agencies and form local collaborations to deliver the program services.

Evaluation Information:

How evaluation data was collected:
Outside experimental studies
Data collected and analyzed at school/district level