Core Initiatives

Early Childhood Development, Parental Engagement and Youth Drug & Alcohol Prevention

Social Change Initiative:  Increase Parental Knowledge of Child Development and Care

United Way of the Laurel Highlands is an independent, volunteer-driven-community leading organization responsible for creating, expanding, and accelerating positive social change in Cambria and Somerset Counties. Following our Enhanced Community Impact Model©we lead a large group of community stakeholders in building a civic infrastructure around children and their families. Our key focus is on children pre-birth to age 5, to ensure that they have the opportunity to grow and develop surrounded by a strong and healthy family unit.

We invest in 2 top evidence-based programs to create social change:

Nurse-Family Partnership: What is the Nurse-Family Partnership? This evidence-based program which is rated as a “gold standard” and #1 program in the United States. NFP is for low income, first-time moms, and delivers proven outcomes such as 48% reduction in child abuse and neglect, 50% reduction in language delay, mothers are twice as likely to remain in or enter into a healthy stable relationship, 43% fewer subsequent pregnancies

Parents as Teachers: Highly rated evidence-based home visitation program. Proven outcomes include 85% of parents show an increase in knowledge related to developmental milestones, 85% of children receive annual developmental screening, 95% of children have up-to-date immunizations.

 


 

 
What is Botvin LifeSkills Training?

The Botvin LifeSkills Training (Botvin) program, fosters youth development by teaching personal coping skills, general social skills, and skills for resisting pressures to smoke, drink, use drugs, and engage in other risky behaviors. Through the Botvin program, students learn not only how to resist pressures to smoke, drink, and use drugs, they also learn important life skills such as how to make informed decisions and solve problems, how to manage stress and anxiety, and how to communicate clearly. The combination of drug resistance skills and life skills has proven to be a powerful formula for preventing drug use and even violence.

Did you know?

Botvin LifeSkills Training was first introduced, in a county-wide collaborative approach using the Enhanced Community Impact Model©, to area students during the 2011-2012 school year at various schools. Initially, the program was taught to 160 students. Currently, with strategic focus and funding by the United Way of the Laurel Highlands, Twin Lakes Center, County SCA’s, Cambria County Drug Coalition, Somerset Drug Free Communities, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and University of Colorado, Botvin is being taught to over 7,000 of the 11,400 eligible students (63%), and is now in all 24 School Districts in Cambria & Somerset Counties.

How is Botvin making an impact?

According to the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS), significant decreases have been measured in the top 3 critical areas where abuse is most prevalent—Alcohol, Tobacco, and Marijuana (both 30-Day & Lifetime usage). The completion of the 2017-2018 school year marked the second cohort of 8th grade students who have successfully completed 3 consecutive years of Botvin LifeSkills Training with very positive results.