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Raising Healthy Children

Implementation Setting: 
Elementary schoolMiddle school
Intervention Length: 
More than 20 sessions
Age Group: 
13 or under
Race / Ethnicity: 
Outcomes Affected: 
Sexual initiation or abstinenceNumber of sexual partnersSexually transmitted infections or HIVPregnancy or birth
Study Rating: 

Program Summary

The Raising Healthy Children program uses a school-wide, multi-year social development approach to positive youth development. The approach incorporates school, family and individual programs to promote key elements that research has shown are critical for creating strong connections and bonds that children need to succeed in school and life: opportunities, skills, and recognition. The program creates strong connections in students’ lives by committing to comprehensive school wide action to strengthen instructional practices and family involvement.

Read the full Implementation Report, which includes:

  • Program Overview
  • Program Components
  • Implementation Requirements and Guidance
  • Implementation Readiness Assessment

Interview with the Program Developer

See the materials below to hear from the program developer.

Raising Healthy Children (formerly the Seattle Social Development Project) webinar slides

Slides, Audio, Transcript

Advice from the Field

OAH has compiled lessons learned and advice related to implementation and cost implications of Raising Healthy Children from TPP grantees. The information below is intended to provide useful tips and overall feedback that organizations should consider when choosing and implementing Raising Healthy Children.

Program Components

  • Consider providing opportunities and spaces for parents to network including allowing Spanish-speaking and English-speaking parents to interact.
  • Recognize that Raising Healthy Children is an approach to working with youth in schools that focuses on classroom management and instructional strategies. While there is a curriculum for working with parents, there is no curriculum for the school program.

Staffing and Professional Development

  • Speak with the developer about becoming a certified trainer of trainers for the Raising Healthy Children program. The developers may require special certification agreements.
  • Consider hiring two instructional coaches for school campuses that have more than 800 students. This alleviates some of the burden on the coaches to attend to teachers and students.
  • Hire program staff who have the skill set needed to teach both youth and adults. Being able to teach adults requires a different skill set than teaching youth; facilitators should be comfortable with both.
  • Consider extending the yearlong training of Raising Healthy Children for all new staff to two years. Because Raising Healthy Children is an approach, rather than a curriculum with lessons, it can require additional time to become comfortable with the program components.

Stakeholder and Parent Buy-in

  • Build relationships with community and faith leaders. These relationships can help spread the word about the program and its components, which can increase recruitment and retention of parents for the Raising Healthy Children parent workshops.


  • Consider budgeting for additional technology (e.g., tablets and iPads) for parent workshops to increase participant retention and engagement.
  • Confirm with third party distributors and the developer about the costs of the materials for the parent component of the curriculum.
  • Negotiate with the trainers to bundle trainings in one visit to reduce the costs for future trainings.

Read the research on the Raising Healthy Children program on ASPE's website.

Content created by the
Office of Adolescent Health
Content last reviewed on
Friday, December 11, 2015