Planning - Supporting Teenagers

Be mindful that there are numerous programs that focus on alcohol and other drug-related treatment and recovery, which is outside the scope of the LDAT Program and its focus on preventing alcohol and other drug-related issues before they occur.

Select an evidence-based program for your Supporting Teenagers activity

We encourage Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) to link with existing alcohol and other drug-related harm prevention programs that have been shown to work. Existing programs may target parents directly, or be designed for a broader group of people or key influencers.

A limited number of existing programs are listed below. You may find other programs through peak youth bodies, local health services or by drawing on local knowledge and networks. There may also be existing programs in place in your community that you can support and/or build on.

Existing programs in Australia which support teenagers:

  • Parenting Strategies: Preventing Adolescent Alcohol Misuse
    An online parenting program to help parents manage challenging issues they may face with their children, including alcohol and drug use, depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
  • Raising Children
    The Raising Children Network occasionally provides free, live webinars and webinar courses on parenting children who have additional or complex needs.
  • Positive Choices
    Positive Choices provides a range of evidence-based information and resources to help parents and key influencers stay informed, communicate effectively, and implement strategies to protect teenagers from drug related harm.

Once you have found an existing program or activity, it may be useful to seek further information directly from the organisation offering these to confirm its relevance and suitability.

You might want to consider the following questions (some answers may be available online, others you may have to seek directly from the relevant organisation):

  • Is the program available in your geographic area? If face-to-face delivery is not available, is remote access an option?
  • Has the program been shown to be effective at strengthening parent knowledge, skills and capacity around alcohol and other drugs, and reducing or preventing alcohol and other drug-related harms? What evidence is available to demonstrate this?
  • Does the program focus on the prevention of alcohol and other drug-related harms (not treatment or recovery)?
  • Does the program align with your community needs?

Due to the limited number of existing programs available, and the need for tailored approaches in many situations, many LDATs may work with partners to develop and deliver a targeted activity in their community.

teenagers study group

Set your objectives

Setting objectives for your Community Action Plan’s activity is an important part of the planning process.

Some example objectives for activities to support teenagers are provided below. Teams can develop their own objectives, although you may find these a useful starting point.

Over the next six months, work with (xx number) key partners of the (xx name) community to:

  • Increase (xx number) parents’/ influencers, access to quality information on supporting teenagers
  • Increase (xx number) parents’/influencers’ knowledge of alcohol and other drug issues affecting teens
  • Increase (xx number) parents’/influencers' ability to effectively communicate with their teen on alcohol and other drug issues
  • Increase (xx number) parents’/influencers’ confidence in communicating effectively with their teen on alcohol and other drug issues
  • Increase (xx number) parents’/influencers’ understanding of protective factors that can prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug related harms amongst teenagers, such as:
    – parental influence
    – role modelling
    – good communication
    – setting clear expectations and boundaries
    – supervision.
  • Increase the number of parents/influencers actively taking action, as a result of attending the supporting teenagers workshop. Actions to increase protective factors that can prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug-related harms amongst teenagers could include:
    – positive parental influence
    – role modelling
    – good communication
    – setting clear expectations and boundaries
    – supervision.

Working with community

Strong partnerships are critical to your success in preventing alcohol and other drug-related harms

in the community.

LDATs may work with a variety of community partners to deliver activities to support teenagers. This might include secondary schools, family support services, and other organisations that work directly with children and/or parents.

Partners can support your activity in different ways, including through leading the activity, promotion, recruiting parents, providing expert trainers, financial support and other potential support.

The specific activity being delivered may influence the type of individuals, networks and organisations that your LDAT partners with. Partners may include:

  • Individual parents
  • Secondary schools and their staff, including principals, teachers, student services consultants (counsellors) and administrative staff
  • School parent groups
  • General practitioners
  • Community health centres and neighbourhood houses
  • Health services and hospitals
  • Sporting clubs
  • Arts organisations (e.g. music, dance, drama)
  • Libraries
  • Local employers and workplaces
  • Local council/s.

Determine resources required

All alcohol and other drug-related harm prevention activities need to be adequately resourced. Below is an indicative list of resources required for community organisations to deliver activities that support teenagers. LDATs may be able to support community organisations by providing some of these resources or linking these organisations to other partners who can provide additional support:

  • Someone with expert alcohol and other drug knowledge – having an expert presenter ensures the workshop information is factual and informed by evidence
  • Personnel time to liaise with community organisations and organise events
  • Catering costs – basic refreshments available before and/or after the event are often sufficient (e.g. tea, coffee, water, biscuits)
  • Funds to undertake police checks or ‘working with children’ checks (where necessary)
  • Venue for the workshop – this may include in-kind support to use a meeting room from a partner organisation, local library, school or community hall. Your local council will have a list of available places for community use. It is not appropriate for workshops to be held in people’s homes
  • Basic administrative tools – access to stationery and office supplies, printers, phones, printing, a workspace for administrative duties
  • Knowledge and funds to design and publish workshop, promotional or other material, or implement a marketing campaign to publicise the workshop
  • Insurance and liability coverage (where appropriate).

Consider measures to success

While you are planning your activity, it is important to consider measures to success for your activity. Determine how you will evaluate the success of your activity linking your evaluation measures to your objectives.

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