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New NREPP Summary: Dare to be You

New NREPP Summary: Dare to be You

From SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices

The DARE to be You (DTBY) Bridges Program brings together families of children in kindergarten through 2nd grade (ages 5-7) and their teachers to support the transition to formal schooling. The goals of the program are to (1) build strong relationships between parents and teachers and (2) enhance the skills of parents, teachers, and children to improve children’s success in school and prevent later problems such as aggression and substance abuse.

The intervention consists of eleven 2.5-hour workshops for parents (or caregivers), children, and teachers, provided over 3-4 months. Other adult family members and siblings of children in the targeted age group may also attend. Moderated by trained facilitators, the workshops are held in a neutral community setting to encourage equal participation from both parents and teachers. The typical group size for each workshop series is about 12 children with their parents and 2-3 teachers.

Each workshop includes a facilitated session for parents and teachers and a separate facilitated session for children. The parent/teacher sessions address:

  • Children’s cognitive, literacy, and socio-emotional development
  • Family management skills (for parents) and classroom management skills (for teachers) to foster children’s self-regulation and stress reduction
  • Effective communication skills that can be applied at home to reduce parental stress, enhance the mental health of the family, and support school-family relations
  • Practical problem-solving skills

In parallel to the adult sessions, the children’s sessions address:

  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-responsibility
  • Cognitive and social development
  • Emotional development (including fostering empathy)
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving/decisionmaking skills

At the beginning of each workshop, a 30-minute meal is provided to encourage social interaction among teachers, parents, and facilitators. Following the meal, all participants are engaged in a brief group activity focused on a key construct of the program, such as building children’s self-esteem or self-responsibility. The adults and children then meet in their respective session groups. During this part of the workshop, siblings participate in separate age-appropriate activities. Both families and teachers receive financial incentives for attendance.

Prior to implementation of the program, facilitators receive 20-30 hours of on-site training on the program model, fidelity and adaptation issues, and evaluation. Teens from the community may be recruited to serve as “teen educators” who assist in facilitating the workshops. Teens receive at least 6 hours of training and are required to attend meetings before and after each workshop to discuss their responsibilities, debrief, and troubleshoot issues.

The DTBY Bridges Program is a synthesis of two other DTBY models, one for preschoolers (ages 2-5) and their parents that aims to promote resilience in families, and one for teachers that focuses on developing teaching efficacy. The goal of combining these two models into one program was to provide a “bridge” between the family and school developmental contexts. The DTBY program for families with preschoolers has been separately reviewed by NREPP under the program name DARE to be You.


Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Mental health promotion
Outcomes Review Date: September 2012
1: Parent self-efficacy
2: Parent stress and depression
3: Parent satisfaction with support
4: Parent perception of school climate
5: Parent involvement in child’s education
Outcome Categories Education
Mental health
Social functioning
Ages 18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
55+ (Older adult)
Genders Male
Races/Ethnicities American Indian or Alaska Native
Hispanic or Latino
Race/ethnicity unspecified
Settings School
Other community settings
Geographic Locations Rural and/or frontier
Implementation History The DTBY Bridges Program was implemented from 2003 to 2007 with eight tribal communities in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah and three small communities in Colorado with Anglo, Hispanic, and Native American populations. Approximately 370 family members at these sites participated in the program.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: No
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: No
Adaptations The program has been adapted for rural Hispanic populations.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Universal
To read the full NREPP summary visit:

About The Author

Scott Carchedi

Scott Carchedi is the founder and co-editor of SSWN. Scott provides technology support and consultative services to school social work associations across the US. Scott is also a practicing school social worker in the western suburbs of Chicago, serving grades 9-12.

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