Getting Started

No matter where you are starting along the pathway to prevention, here are a few important questions to consider:

  • What’s already going on in my community?
    You can make the most of the resources you have by teaming up with others in your community who are already doing similar work. Promoting healthy teen relationships can bring together the people who live, learn, work, and play in your community. (Think health programs, school health curricula, youth development programs, domestic violence groups, parents’ groups and arts organizations.)
  • How can I weave culture and community into my program?
    Are there cultural or community events that regularly bring people together? Think about ways you can infuse your work with the uniqueness of your community and what makes it special.
  • How will youth be involved in shaping what I do?
    Having youth at the table is crucial. They know what resonates with their peers, and they have the power to change the dynamic among youth in the community. Ask yourself if you have the capacity to give youth a real voice, not just a token seat at the table.
  • Who are my champions?
    Identifying the right, passionate advocates in a broad array of places will ensure that your work is sustainable and broadly supported.
  • How does school fit in?
    Schools are a logical place to reach 11-to 14-year-olds, particularly in the classroom. Listen to local district and school staff to find the best way to incorporate healthy relationship curriculum and policies into schools.
  • How can I include all of the different kinds of people that influence preteens’ lives?
    Visit the Influencers section of this site for guidance on who to think about including, why they’re important, and how to best reach them.