Once you have completed the collection and analysis of the data collected for your community assessment, it is time to prioritize which risk and protective factors need to be addressed in your community. The following questions will assist you in identifying your priorities:
- Looking across the data you have collected, are there risk factors or protective factors for which you have no data? If so, identify these factors, determine if and where the appropriate data can be collected, and add this information to your data analysis to strengthen your overall assessment. Remember, the assessment is the foundation for your prevention action plan. The more thorough you are in completing this step, the more effective and accurate you will be in designing solutions.
- Which risks are most prevalent in your community? Which protective factors are most lacking? Based on: trends, comparisons with other similar data (national, state or other communities); comparisons across factors; and your interpretation of the data and possible explanations.
- At what developmental periods are children most at risk in your community?
- Is there an identifiable "cluster" of risk factors that, addressed together, could provide a synergistic response?
- Which two to five risk factors, identified as most prevalent in your community, do you think your community should tackle first? Which protective factor should you tackle first?
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