Empowering Youth: Research-based Approach to Alcohol and Drug Prevention

Collaborator: SHIELDS for FAMILIES, Inc.


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SHIELDS’ Heros & Sheros Program serves children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 18 whose parents are enrolled in SHIELDS’ SUD treatment services. Heros & Sheros addresses the high risk of alcohol and drug use with the children of substance abusers, as well as other problems related to their healthy development, by helping children adjust at home and in school, stabilizing family interactions, and empowering youth with skills that prepare them for college and adulthood. A grantee partner since 2009, support from Specialty Family Foundation has allowed Heros and Sheros to increase the number of youth served and expand prevention services to at-risk youth in low-income families by utilizing a “community ecosystems” research-based approach to alcohol and drug prevention, emphasizing problems as a function of the larger whole rather than as pieces existing in isolation, and taking into account how economic and cultural circumstances affect substance abuse behavior.

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