Our Lake County partner organizations send representatives and have supported our mission over the years. Many thanks for their efforts and energy in making the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force an effective resource in Lake County. The volunteers that make up the Task Force are key players in Lake County communities. Attempts to develop new leaders to move the Task Force are challenging and often tabled until a mutually agree upon process is identified. Efforts have included coalition sustainability training through the LCHD/CHC, strategic planning sessions, a coalition membership survey regarding effectiveness of leaders and process, and offering free training opportunities (webinars, workshops) to members.
To ensure that the coalition execute selected strategies, the members of the Task Force Leadership Team meet quarterly with committees to review strategies and evaluate processes. Additionally, the entire membership annually revisits the strategic plan to be sure it follows with the logic model. This review process reinforces a shared understanding of the goals, objectives, and strategies of the Task Force and the roles of the membership in advancing them.
In the fall of 2006, a high profile alcohol-related car crash which killed two teens and injured others left communities in Lake County distraught. The intensity of this case rose to new heights when investigators discovered adults present during the underage drinking party knew the teens had been drinking prior to the departure. What was initially a tragedy turned into outrage and readiness for action. People came together to focus their efforts on addressing underage drinking issues and related consequences.
At a county level, the Lake County Chiefs of Police Association (LCCPA) and the Lake County After School Coalition (LCASC) – a county-wide coalition of community leaders dedicated to increasing access to quality after school and youth development programs in Lake County – developed subcommittees to address underage drinking in Lake County. While committees strategized approaches to prevent underage drinking, the same key stakeholders found themselves attending similar meetings at different locations and trying to accomplish the same thing with the same limited resources.
In 2007, the two subcommittees of the LCCPA and LCASC joined forces for a better use of resources and a more strategic approach to this countywide issue. They created the Lake County Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force (Task Force).
The mission of the Task Force is "to provide leadership and resources to reduce and prevent underage drinking and other youth substance abuse in Lake County" and the vision is "to have a county-wide environment where youth achieve their full potential."
From the beginning, the Task Force has been committed to underage drinking prevention using environmental prevention strategies. Over the past few years, the Task Force has progressed from a group of people who were concerned about underage drinking and its consequences to a cohesive team of community leaders with a well-developed logic model and comprehensive strategic plan focused on underage drinking prevention and, recently added, youth prescription drug abuse. The Task Force has developed committees to more effectively coordinate activities and is now well positioned to implement its strategic plan with the much needed resources available through a Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant.