Start a Prevention Program or Activity

Young Soccer players Start with your end in mind. If you want to have an impact, it's best to think ahead about what you are trying to achieve. Programs and activities work best when you have a plan and you create a consistent, supportive environment to promote healthy behaviors.


Identify the Desired Results

What do you want to achieve by running a prevention program?

It helps to have specific goals in mind that are beneficial and also consistent with the goals of your organization.  Fairfax County has identified nine specific goals for children and youth. You may want to use these goals as a guide for determining your desired results. You may also want to focus on a specific aspect of one of the goals, such as helping children and youth consume more fruits and vegetables.

These are the Fairfax County Prevention Goals:

    • Children are physically fit with good nutritional habits
    • Children enter kindergarten fully ready to succeed
    • Children and youth are safe from violence and bullying
    • Children are born healthy - there are no disparities
    • Families have skills and supports needed to raise healthy and thriving children
    • All youth are succeeding academically - there are no disparities
    • Families are connected to their communities and schools
    • Children and youth are free from alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
    • Children and youth are mentally well

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Choose a Program or Activity That is Right For You

Once you have chosen your goals, consider what you need to be successful.

  • Who is your audience?  If children, what age range?  If parents, can you offer child care?  
  • What facilities can you use?  How many people do you expect and does your facility meet that need?
  • Do you have staff or volunteers to lead?  Do they need training?
  • Do you need curriculum, equipment or supplies?  Do you have funds for purchases?  Can you raise funds?  Can you find donated items?

When considering programs to implement, it is helpful to map out how the program’s activities will help achieve the desired results.  Visit the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension for guidelines on developing a logic model to help you achieve results.

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Bolster a Program With Consistent and Ongoing Support

Once a program or activity has been chosen and is being implemented, create a consistent, supportive environment.  Know what is being taught and practice it every day.  This might mean serving healthy snacks instead of sweet treats or listening to a parent or child about issues they are having and assisting them with finding help.

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Ideas for Neighborhood and Family Prevention Activities

Visit Ideas for Neighborhood and Family Prevention Activities for some ideas of things you can do in your family, neighborhood, faith-based or community group to promote healthy, thriving communitites.  Let these ideas inspire you to develop ideas of your own.

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Prevention Programs in Fairfax County

Prevention Programs in Fairfax County provides a list of resources for the Fairfax County community.  Each prevention program is managed differently and has its own set of requirements. If you are interested in a specific program, please contact the provider directly for more information. 

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Evidence-Based Programs

Evidence-based programs have been shown through rigorous evaluation to be successful at achieving results if the program is implemented as intended..  Many have a specific curriculum available for free or purchase, and some require training.  Visit Evidence-Based Prevention Programs for links to websites that maintain lists of evidence-based or promising programs.

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On This Page

Have a question or suggestion? Email the Prevention Staff for assistance.

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