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National Crime Victims Center > Grants & Publications > current_grant_abstracts > Charleston County Teen and Family EMPOWERR Program

Charleston County Teen and Family EMPOWERR Program

Principal Investigator: Carla Kmett Danielson, Ph.D.  <bio sketch>  <e-mail>
Funding Source:  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Dates of Project:  09/30/2008-09/29/2013

The purpose of the Charleston County Teen and Family EMPOWERR (Ethnic Minority Outreach and Web-based Education for Risk Reduction) Program is to deliver culturally-competent, state of the science prevention services to ethnic minority adolescents (12-17 years) so as to reduce the number of African American adolescents infected with HIV in Charleston County, SC. The specific goals of the EMPOWERR Program are to: 1) develop a workgroup to identify the unique and culturally-specific needs of African American adolescents residing in Charleston County, SC, with regard to prevention of substance abuse and HIV prevention; 2) adapt SAMHSA and CDC-identified evidence-based prevention interventions (Family Matters, SiHLE, and Be Proud, Be Responsible) for substance abuse and HIV specifically for AA adolescents in Charleston County; 3) implement such intervention services through traditional delivery and web-based delivery methods so as to increase knowledge about safe sex behaviors, increase family communication and parental monitoring regarding adolescent substance use, and to reduce risky sexual behaviors and substance abuse behaviors among adolescents; 4) increase HIV-testing, prevention, and treatment service utilization among African American adolescents in Charleston through outreach and case management services and community-based education efforts; 5) evaluate the effectiveness of the adapted prevention services for the Charleston minority adolescent community; and 6) develop a sustainability plan such that services can persist once the proposed grant funding has terminated. This application represents an integrated effort of the NCVC, local and state-wide HIV/AIDS service providers (e.g., SC AIDS Council, DHEC, LAS Services) and related community agencies (e.g., Department of Juvenile Justice), international expert developers of  NREPP and CDC-identified evidence-based substance abuse prevention programs (Dr. Susan Ennett, Dr. Phyllis Ellickson) and HIV prevention programs specifically developed for ethnic minority adolescents (Dr. Ralph DiClemente), and ethnic minority adolescent and caregiver consumers. Individuals from each of these respective areas have all generously lent their time and expertise in the development of this proposal to ensure its “real world” applicability to the perceived needs of Charleston County African American youth. Service activities and delivery methods were selected to expand existing prevention activities in this area and to have the widest impact possible. Further, given the large number of veterans living in the Charleston area, and that a significant proportion of these veterans are reported to have children, many of whom fall into the target population of this proposed project, we have included plans to adapt specific prevention services for this population as well. Plans for feasible, low-cost sustainability of the services proposed also are discussed. 

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