Friday Night Live (FNL)
The California Friday Night Live (FNL) Program was developed in 1984. It began as a pilot program in Sacramento County dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by teen motorists driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. The program has matured significantly over the years and is now statewide and active in elementary, middle and high schools throughout California.
FNL Programs apply evidence-based practices and utilize a youth development model which is an ongoing process that engages young people in building skills, attitudes, knowledge, and experiences that prepare them to be fully capable and competent individuals. Studies have shown that programs that reduce risk factors and increase protective factors have been successful in addressing these issues and the FNL Standards of Practice are based in this philosophy.
FNL-based programs build partnerships that engage youth as active leaders and resources in their communities. Youth have the opportunity to develop skills and plan activities in concert with their peers and adult advisors. The programs are youth-driven which provide meaningful roles for the participants. Programs build community partnerships that support youth, helping to foster their sense of autonomy and self reliance. FNL Programs have gone well beyond basic approaches and youth that were merely recipients of prevention messages now plan and conduct community prevention actions.
Some activities include educating policy-making officials, providing safe social outlets for youth, and hosting training and conferences on varying issues from leadership to social factors that contribute to substance abuse. FNL Chapters offer participants the opportunity to connect to their school and/or community through skill-building activities and caring relationships in environments free of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and violence.
There are four components to FNL-based programs. FNL is predominantly geared towards high-school aged youth, Club Live (CL) is the middle/junior high school piece, FNL Kids focuses on 4th - 6th grade youth, and FNL Mentoring matches high school youth with middle/junior high school youth using an evidence-based curriculum. The locations of individual programs, known as “chapters,” have broadened over time from school campuses to other community locations such as recreational facilities, housing projects, youth centers and youth detention centers.
Currently, 53 of California’s 58 counties have FNL, CL, FNL Kids and/or FNL Mentoring Programs operating. The fiscal year 2010/11 CalOMS Prevention data showed 780 FNL Program Chapters served more than 133,000 people.
California Friday Night Live Partnership
In March 1996, the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs began contracting out the statewide coordination of the FNL Programs, which resulted in the formation of the California Friday Night Live Partnership (CFNLP). Services provided to county FNL/CL/FNL Kids/FNL Mentoring programs include:
- Program design and development assistance.
- Technical assistance and training to incorporate the youth development models.
- Development and distribution of research materials on innovative youth programs.
- Support for the involvement of youth in all phases of program planning and implementation.
- Conducting routine evaluations to assess progress, and to refine, improve and strengthen program effectiveness.
- Use of web technology to provide resources on prevention information, and function as a network for FNL county coordinators to access programmatic information.
The California Friday Night Live Collaborative (CFNLC) is made up of FNL Coordinators that act as the leadership voice to the CFNLP on behalf of the field. CFNLP provides support to the Collaborative in areas such as the Members In Good Standing process that supports local programs in implementing the Standards of Practice for positive youth development.
For more information regarding FNL, CL, FNL Kids and FNL Mentoring programs, please contact the CFNLP at (559) 733-6496 or the CFNLP Web site.