The Sussex County Coalition for Healthy and Safe Families was founded by concerned local citizens in 1998 to support healthy youth development and protect against problem behaviors in adolescence by reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors in children’s lives. Over its 12 years of existence, the Coalition has become a well-recognized resource for schools, parents, students, community members and the media looking for information and programs about alcohol and other drugs; including signs, symptoms, effects, and current local and national trends; youth violence; and prevention tools.
In 2012, the Center for Prevention and Counseling (CFPC) was awarded funds from the New Jersey Department of Human Services to develop regional, evidenced-based addiction and substance abuse prevention strategies that target at-risk groups of all ages. Through the work of the Coalition, CFPC formed a partnership with Family Guidance Center of Warren County (FGCWC) to serve the entire region. To reflect its new scope, the Coalition changed its name to the Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities.
The mission of this two-county coalition is to create healthy and safe communities that are free from substance abuse, addiction and related issues among people of all ages throughout Sussex and Warren Counties.
The Regional Coalition seeks to do the following:
- Create family and peer groups that are not supportive of underage drinking, abusive drinking, marijuana use, heroin use and abuse of prescription medications;
- Increase the passage and enforcement of policies/laws that support non-use of alcohol by minors, responsible drinking by those over 21 and non-use of illegal substances;
- Create work environments that support healthy lifestyle choices;
- Implement changes within the region’s three hospital emergency rooms that empower healthcare workers to address substance use among their patients;
- Enhance campus life at the region’s three colleges to focus on healthy lifestyle choices; and
- Create opportunities for youth to become role models and leaders in their communities.
Establishing a foundation of membership in the Coalition that represents a cross-section of the community has been key to achieving its goals. Diverse leadership, representing different perspectives and expertise, is an essential component to the Coalition’s success. The Coalition’s membership also draws from the various community sectors; education, local government, law enforcement, juvenile justice, social services, health services, parent groups, students, religious and business leaders, and the media. Well attended monthly Steering Committee meetings afford members and guests the opportunity to:
- Learn something new
- Share information about projects or events
- Discuss & develop solutions for community issues
- Learn about committee work & progress
- Connect with other community members
- Request assistance/partners to address an issue
We would love for you to join other community members at our Coalition meetings, to help plan future activities and make sure that our services remain helpful to our communities. Monthly Coalition meetings are held at the Regional Coalition’s primary location, CFPC, 61 Spring Street, Newton, on the second Friday of each month at 9 am and at FGCWC, 492 Route 57, Washington, NJ 07882 on the fourth Monday each month at 3pm.
Please check out our Coalition Membership Application or contact the appropriate contact listed below to confirm your interest or request more information.
Coalition Contact Information:
For Sussex County or Regional Coalition, contact Becky Carlson at 973-383-4787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For Warren County, contact Mary Jo Harris at 908-689-1000 or email email@example.com. You may also find more information on the Family Guidance Center of Warren County’s website: http://www.familyguidancecenterofwc.org/
Signature Events and Activities
- Prescription and Over the Counter Drugs
- Project Alert Drug Trend Update
- Asset Building Workshops (based on Search Institute’s concept of developmental assets)
- "Coalition News" newsletter for adults and Coalition Kids 2 Kids Newsletters for kids, and Power in Youth Newsletter doe teens
- Underage Drinking Prevention Initiatives and Town Hall Meetings regarding underage drinking
- New Jersey Underage Drinking Ordinance
- What’s Your Anti-Drug Media Campaign and Contest
- Alcohol Awareness Month PSA Contest
- Annual Middle School Anti-Bullying Summit
Every child deserves a safe place to grow. How can you help?
- Join the Coalition
- Attend community prevention events
- Initiate “alcohol-free” events in your family
- Initiate “alcohol-free” events in your community
- Participate in National Alcohol Awareness Month each April
- Participate in Red Ribbon Week each October 23-31 by wearing red ribbons
- Don’t allow unsupervised parties in your home or on your property
- Educate your children about the dangers of alcohol and other drug use
- Don’t permit use by youth of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, or other drugs
- Don’t supply alcohol or tobacco to underage youth
- Communicate with and welcome communication from other parents regarding your children’s activities
- Arrange for a responsible adult to monitor your home when you are out of town
- Encourage your children to use the Internet safely, and avoid sites that encourage drug use