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CAPP Community Readiness

CAPP Community ReadinessOur efforts to deliver evidence-based programs in communities all across New York State have taught us that implementation is complex. Not only do educators and organizations have to be ready and competent to deliver the program, communities also have to be ready and supportive. Oppositional or non-supportive community norms can have a negative impact on how often the program will be offered as well as the quality and fidelity of program delivery.

To build community support and ensure CAPP and PREP success, we must first assess the community's readiness to address adolescent sexual health issues or support a particular intervention. By understanding how key sectors of the community see the issue at hand, we can strategize a path toward greater community support and engagement.

What is the Community Readiness Model process?

The Community Readiness Model (CRM) is a research-based process and assessment tool for measuring a community's readiness to address a given social issue. Developed by the Tri-Ethnic Center at Colorado State University, the tool has been used by people seeking to make positive change in their communities on issues such as breast health disparities, intimate partner violence, services for LGBT elders, and Latino/a school dropout, among many others. The New York State Department of Health encourages CAPP providers to work with ACT for Youth to address community readiness; the tools are also available to PREP providers.

Working with one of the original developers, ACT for Youth has designed an adaptation of the CRM specifically for CAPP and PREP. To conduct the assessment, you will select a small group of community stakeholders to engage in a structured interview about a key issue related to adolescent sexual health (CAPP component 1). The interviews in the CAPP and PREP adaptation cover three dimensions of readiness with respect to the issue: community members' knowledge, community climate, and community leadership's attitudes. Once the interviews are compiled and analyzed, you will be able to identify the community's stage of readiness, and this, in turn, will help you determine the most effective community outreach strategy.

PDFStages of Community Readiness (Revised for CAPP) (PDF)

First Steps

To begin the CRM process, you must identify: 1) the specific issue you wish to address, 2) the relevant community, and 3) the stakeholders who will yield the best information ("key respondents"). In the video below, Jutta Dotterweich reviews the first steps in the process.

Identify the Issue and the Community

To conduct an accurate community readiness assessment, it is critical to first define the issue to be investigated in clear and specific terms. For CAPP, the issue must connect to component 1. It is equally important to define the community of interest. This may be a geographical community; a system (such as juvenile justice or a school district); or an organization (such as a school or community-based organization where you would like to offer programming).

WordCommunity Readiness Worksheet: Defining Issue and Community (Word)

Identify the Key Respondents

The interview process requires 6-10 community stakeholders or respondents. Who understands the issue you've identified in that specific community? Who knows what's going on in the community and can reflect how community members feel about the identified issue? Your goal here is to collect a wide range of informed perspectives while limiting the interviews to a manageable number.

WordCommunity Readiness Worksheet: Select Your Key Respondents (Word)


Interviews generally take 30-45 minutes and may be conducted in person or over the phone. You may wish to contact the people you hope to interview by mail or email to explain the project before you call them to schedule an interview. A template for an introductory letter is provided below. If at all possible, record each interview so that you can ensure accuracy -- see Recording Tips below. Finally, a template for the interviews has been developed that can be tailored to your specific issue and community.

WordTemplate for Letter Requesting Community Readiness Interview (Word)
PDFCommunity Readiness Interview: Recording Tips (PDF)
WordCommunity Readiness Assessment: Interview Template (Word)

Keep in mind that your TA provider (PDF) is available to support you.

What's next? More information and resources will be posted on this page to guide you in the process that begins once the interviews are complete.

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