JRSA Staff Deliver Webinar on Adapting Evidence-Based Practices

JRSA Forum. June 2013. Volume 31, Number 2.

In partnership with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), JRSA staff members Stan Orchowsky, Carrie Williamson, and Shawn Flower delivered a webinar on April 25 entitled Making What Works Work for You: Evidence-Based Components and Adaptation. The webinar is part of the ongoing efforts of JRSA's OJJDP-funded National Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center (NJJEC) to improve the evaluation capacity of states, localities, and tribes and facilitate the use of evidence-based practices. NJJEC staff use webinars to provide OJJDP grantees with training in a cost-effective and convenient way.

The purpose of the webinar was to discuss how state and local service providers can use evidence-based strategies in their own local contexts, and determine when and how it might be appropriate to make modifications to "name brand" evidence-based practices. Presenters discussed using resources like CrimeSolutions.gov, OJJDP's Model Programs Guide, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)'s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices to shape local programs and practices using techniques that have been demonstrated to be effective.

The discussion reviewed some of the advantages of a components-based approach to evidence-based practice. A components-based approach uses techniques like motivational interviewing, mentoring, risk assessment, and cognitive-behavioral therapy that are employed by model programs, and is often easier to work into current practice or organizational structure and easier to scale up or down.

The presentation included a discussion of ways to adapt evidence-based program plans for a specific organization, problem, or target population. Panelists emphasized that more knowledge is needed to understand which program activities are essential and which can be modified, and that it is important for practitioners to collect good performance measure data to understand the effect of any changes made to an evidence-based program plan. The discussion included ways to apply these concepts to address a newly identified problem or target population, or to improve current programs and practices.

Audio recording and PowerPoint slides are available on NTTAC's website at www.nttac.org as well as the NJJEC website at http://www.jrsa.org/njjec/trainings-presentations.htm.