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Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Project Examples: Children and youth

Promising Examples

Contingency Management Smoking Cessation in Appalachia

Updated/reviewed June 2022

  • Need: To reduce smoking rates of pregnant women and adolescents in Appalachian regions of eastern Kentucky and Ohio.
  • Intervention: A web-based smoking cessation program that offered monetary incentives to reducing smoking.
  • Results: Participants significantly reduced smoking rates or quit altogether.

School-Based Health Center Dental Outreach

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed July 2020

  • Need: To improve the oral health status of children ages 3 to 17 living in underserved rural areas of Louisiana.
  • Intervention: School-based nurse practitioners perform oral health assessments, apply fluoride varnishes when indicated, and make dental referrals, with completion rates of the latter tracked by dental case managers.
  • Results: Significant numbers of school children are receiving oral health examinations, fluoride varnish applications, and receiving care coordination to improve numbers of completed dental appointments.


funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Updated/reviewed December 2019

  • Need: To educate youth about obesity and healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Intervention: An educational program about healthy living was implemented in Lincoln and Claiborne Parishes in Louisiana for youth ages 9-18.
  • Results: Youth4Health program produced greater awareness and participation in healthier lifestyles by target youth and their families, as well as church congregations.

Other Project Examples

North Carolina Innovative Approaches Initiative

Updated/reviewed July 2024

  • Need: Children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN) face many barriers to coordinated, comprehensive, and culturally competent healthcare.
  • Intervention: The North Carolina Innovative Approaches (IA) Initiative works with families of CYSHCN and other community leaders to make systems changes in the state's healthcare system.
  • Results: IA has impacted 22 counties and has had a positive impact on increasing family engagement and community capacity for systems changes.


funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy funded by the Health Resources Services Administration

Updated/reviewed June 2024

  • Need: To address the developmental, behavioral, and social/emotional needs of rural children ages 0-22 in northwest Illinois.
  • Intervention: Local partners teamed up to create a centralized service facility for children and families facing developmental, behavioral, and social/emotional issues. Florissa provides evaluations, diagnosis, and treatment to local children using a multidisciplinary, evidence-based approach.
  • Results: In 2023, Florissa provided a direct clinical service to over 337 children, in addition to many trainings and supportive programs. It also is co-located with the KSB Hospital pediatric department, a certified pediatric patient-centered medical home (PCMH).

Hope Squad

Updated/reviewed June 2024

  • Need: To reduce youth suicide rates.
  • Intervention: First begun in Utah, Hope Squad is a nationwide program that trains youth to look after their classmates and refer those with suicidal thoughts or other mental health concerns to adult advisors.
  • Results: Studies suggest that Hope Squad schools' students with suicidal thoughts are more likely than non-Hope Squad schools' students to solicit help. In addition, stigma surrounding mental illness is decreasing.

SJRC Texas Belong Community-Based Care (CBC)

Updated/reviewed June 2024

  • Need: To develop a child welfare system that provides rural Texas communities with flexibility, authority, and adaptability to improve services and outcomes for children and families.
  • Intervention: SJRC Texas's division Belong is the lead provider for Community-Based Care, which oversees foster and kinship care, case management, reunification services, and prevention services in the South Central and Hill Country region of Texas.
  • Results: Since October 2021, SJRC Texas Belong CBC has served more than 1,700 children and young adults and provided more than 1,400 home and virtual visits.

The Sapling Center

Updated/reviewed June 2024

  • Need: To create a safe space for youth and young adults, ages 14 to 25, in rural eastern Kentucky.
  • Intervention: The Sapling Center provides independent living skills education and offers a wide array of services as well as fun activities in a supportive environment.
  • Results: The 5 Sapling Center locations serve 50-75 teens and young adults every day.

Jana's Campaign: Secondary Education Prevention Programming

Updated/reviewed March 2024

  • Need: To reduce teen dating violence in middle schools, high schools, and youth organizations by promoting healthy relationship behaviors and fostering a culture of respect among adolescents.
  • Intervention: Jana's Campaign offers prevention programs, including curricular and co-curricular activities, to highlight the 'red flags' and underlying causes of unhealthy dating relationships.
  • Results: Since 2013, 661 middle and high schools and more than 92,673 students in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon, Montana, and Washington State have benefited from these programs.

Project ACTIVATE (Advancing Coordinated and Timely InterVentions, Awareness, Training, and Education)

Updated/reviewed February 2024

  • Need: To improve students' access to behavioral health services in rural North Carolina.
  • Intervention: North Carolina Project ACTIVATE provides three tiers of behavioral health supports in the school setting.
  • Results: The six pilot sites (Cohorts 1 and 2) have created or revised 91 mental health policies, and 40,572 school-based and related employees have received training in different topics and protocols.