A general awareness of increased gang activity and illegal drug use in the region in the early 2000s caused community groups to realize the need for a formalized community-wide substance abuse prevention strategy.  In December 2004, meetings to discuss the local gang and drug problem were publicized to local police departments, school personnel, youth-serving organizations, the faith-based community, community leaders, and the community at-large.  Over the next 15 months, this group continued to meet, seeking an approach to prevent youth from engaging in risky behaviors.  In 2005, this original ad hoc, working group officially became the Child Connection Coalition.

In March 2006, the Child Connection Coalition developed a broad sweeping strategic plan.  This plan provided the first ever intentional and comprehensive strategy to target substance abuse in the community.  Unfortunately, full implementation of this plan did not occurred due in large part to a lack of financial and staffing resources.

By January 2007, the Coalition became a truly regional prevention effort incorporating representatives from Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro and changed their name to the SAW Coalition.  In April 2007, utilizing funding from an Office of Juvenile Justice grant a full-time Gang Prevention Coordinator was hired.  In 2008, utilizing funding from a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration grant titled, “Drug Free Communities,” a full-time substance abuse Coordinator was hired.

In 2014, a second prevention coalition that had been formed through state SPF-SIG funds merged with the SAW Coalition in order to reduce duplication and increase resources.  Each Coalition had discussions about the merger, but since most of the members of both coalitions were the same, the vote to merge was unanimous.  When the merger occurred, the coalition name was changed, yet again to, Greater Augusta Prevention Partners Coalition.