DARE to be You

Evidence Rating  
Evidence rating: Expert Opinion

Strategies with this rating are recommended by credible, impartial experts but have limited research documenting effects; further research, often with stronger designs, is needed to confirm effects.

Health Factors  
Decision Makers
Date last updated

DARE to be You1 is a multi-component program that provides educational workshops and training sessions for children, parents, and community members such as child-care providers, social service agency workers, and community volunteers working with at-risk families. DTBY programs are typically comprised of 10 to 12 weekly sessions incorporating parent-child activities, two hour workshops, family meals, and optional follow up support groups and booster workshops after program completion. DTBY offers a variety of programs for youth of all ages and their families, including the Preschool Families Program, Bridges Program for Families with Teachers, and Care to Wait (Families with Middle School Youth). DARE is an acronym for key program concepts: Decision-making, Assertiveness, Responsibility, and Esteem. DTBY is not affiliated with the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program2.

What could this strategy improve?

Expected Benefits

Our evidence rating is based on the likelihood of achieving these outcomes:

  • Increased self-efficacy

  • Improved parenting

  • Improved parent-child interaction

Potential Benefits

Our evidence rating is not based on these outcomes, but these benefits may also be possible:

  • Improved child behavior

What does the research say about effectiveness?

Dare to be You (DTBY) is a suggested strategy to increase parenting skills and parents’ self-efficacy, and improve parent-child relationships for at-risk families. Available evidence suggests DTBY improves family communication and improves parenting by helping parents adopt effective child-rearing practices, avoid overly harsh punishments, discipline effectively, and set limits3, 4. DTBY may increase parents’ self-esteem and satisfaction with their social support network2. However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.

In rural communities, DTBY programs are associated with increased provision of social services to strengthen and support families3. Surveys of parents, teachers, and child care providers suggest that children who participate in DTBY decrease oppositional and problematic behaviors over time4.

Implementation Examples

In 2016, DTBY recognized the Refugee and Immigrant Center at the Asian Association of Utah in Salt Lake City and the Eastern Shore Community Services Board in Nassawadox, Virginia with Sustainability Awards for implementing and sustaining DTBY programs for over 15 years5

Implementation Resources

DTBY - DARE to be You (DTBY): Decision-making, assertiveness, responsibility, esteem.

Powell 2009a - Powell D, Dunlap G. Evidence-based social emotional curricula and intervention packages for children 0-5 years and their families: Roadmap to effective intervention practices #2. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children; 2009.


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1 DTBY - DARE to be You (DTBY): Decision-making, assertiveness, responsibility, esteem.

2 YG-DTBY - Youth.gov (YG), Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP). DARE to be You (DTBY).

3 MacPhee 2014 - MacPhee D, Miller-Hey J, Carroll J. Impact of the DARE to be You family support program: Collaborative replication in rural counties. Journal of Community Psychology. 2014;42(6):707-722.

4 Joseph 2003 - Joseph GE, Strain PS. Comprehensive evidence-based social-emotional curricula for young children: An analysis of efficacious adoption potential. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. 2003;23(2):62-73.

5 DTBY-Sustainability - DARE to be You (DTBY). Sustainability Awards for the DARE to be You program.