Raising Healthy Children Bedford County

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Bedford County Raising Healthy Children program?

The four-year Bedford County Raising Healthy Children program, which began during the 2006-07 school year, is providing social-skills training for elementary school students, training for teachers to improve classroom-management methods, and workshops for parents to help them communicate more effectively with their children and with their children’s school personnel. Scientifically tested, comprehensive, and school-based, the Raising Healthy Children program promotes positive youth development and academic success. The program includes three basic components: a school component, a family component, and a peer component.

Raising Healthy Children Bedford CountyThe Raising Healthy Children program is the culmination of the Seattle Social Development Project (SSDP), a 15-year study conducted by Dr. J David Hawkins and Dr. Richard F. Catalano in urban, multiethnic elementary schools in the Seattle, Washington School District, and in replications around the United States.

Who developed the Raising Healthy Children program?

It was developed by J. David Hawkins, Ph.D., and Richard F. Catalano, Ph.D., professors of social work and directors of the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington. Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Catalano, pioneers in the field of prevention research and developers of the Social Development Strategy, are internationally known for their groundbreaking work in the area of risk and protective factors.

How do we know that the Raising Healthy Children program works?
In the most recent follow-up study, researchers found that the benefits of the SSDP lasted through the age of 21. Female students who participated in the SSDP were less likely to be pregnant by age 21 (38% compared with 56% of the control group).

In previous studies, students who participated in the SSDP were 19% less likely to commit a violent delinquent act, 39% less likely to engage in heavy drinking, and 21% less likely to have been referred to school authorities because of misbehavior. The SSDP participants also showed significantly greater commitment to school and significantly better academic achievement than students who had not participated.

Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

What is the duration of the Raising Healthy Children program and how is it structured?
In order to maximize the success of the intervention and to ensure implementation fidelity, the Raising Healthy Children program is installed over the course of four school years. The first two years include active training for staff development and parent workshop leaders, and coaching of school staff and support personnel. The third and fourth years include ongoing enhancement of teaching and parent-support strategies.

Is the Raising Healthy Children program cost effective?
Yes! The Washington State Institute for Public Policy conducted an independent analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the SSDP. While the analysis examined only the benefits related to crime reduction, the SSDP was found to pay for itself through reductions in future crime costs, yielding positive economic returns. For every dollar invested in the Raising Healthy Children program, it is estimated that the community will save at least $4.25 due to projected reductions in crime. Reductions in other delinquent and unhealthy behaviors will only increase a community’s savings.

Who is coordinating the Bedford County Raising Healthy Children project?
The program is coordinated by Unified Family Services Systems, the county's collaborative board, and co-sponsored by the five school districts in Bedford County - Bedford Area, Everett Area, Chestnut Ridge, Northern Bedford County and Tussey Mountain.

Who is funding the project in Bedford County?
The project is funded through a competitive grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency under its Research-Based Delinquency Prevention program. UFSS applied for the grant in Spring 2006 and received a commitment of $975,000 over the next four years. In addition, local school districts are providing a significant in-kind match by making their teachers available for training during 12 in-service days. A portion of the project in 2007 is being supported through an additional grant from PCCD to the Bedford County Communities that Care Prevention Board.

What are the School Program Components?
1. School-wide management and discipline strategies for the playground, lunchroom, hallways, etc.
2. Principal, facilitator, and family support coordinator implementation training.
3. Classroom management strategies, such as techniques to:

  • establish consistent expectations for behaviors and routines at the beginning of the school year
  • give clear, explicit instructions for behavior
  • recognize and reward desirable behavior and efforts to comply
  • keep routine classroom disruptions from interrupting instruction.

4. Staff development in instructional strategies, such as techniques to:

  • assess and activate foundation knowledge before teaching
  • teach to explicit learning objectives
  • motivate students to learn
  • actively engage all students in meaningful learning.

What are the Family Support Program Components?

  • School family support team
  • Parent education programs (Learn more)

What are the Peer Program Components?

  • Child social and emotional skill development
  • interpersonal problem-solving skills
  • listening
  • conflict resolution
  • recognizing feelings
  • consequential thinking.

A Raising Healthy Children school is a place where:

  • All students, staff, and parents experience a safe, nurturing, and caring learning environment in which disruptions are minimized.
  • School, home, and community share positive, healthy beliefs and clear standards for academic and social behavior.
  • All students are motivated and actively involved in learning.
  • All students, families, and staff have opportunities to be meaningfully involved in learning.
  • All students learn the social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral skills they need for healthy development.
  • All students, staff, and families are recognized and celebrated for their accomplishments.
  • All members of the learning community are actively engaged in solving problems, resolving conflicts, and setting positive goals.
  • All teachers and parents actively support intellectual, social and emotional, and behavioral development.
  • All students, teachers, and families develop a commitment to learning.
  • All students feel they can, they care, and they count.
  • Research-tested teaching and management practices are well implemented.

    UFSS Home | Communities that Care | Integrated Children's Services | Raising Healthy Children | Skills for Life | The Incredible Years | Family Centers of Bedford County

    Unified Family Services Systems
    195 Pennknoll Rd., Everett, PA 15537 • Voice: 814-623-2760 • Fax: 412-291-1049 • E-mail
    Copyright 2008 Unified Family Services Systems