Issue No. 17




Announcement: 

We are excited to announce that Dr. Pamela Buckley is the new Principal Investigator (PI) of Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development. Dr. Buckley joined the Blueprints team in 2016 and has been serving as Co-PI and Director. Dr. Karl Hill is still involved in the vision and scientific integrity of Blueprints and will assume the role of Co-PI and will remain Chair of the Blueprints Advisory Board. Read more about Drs. Buckley and Hill’s experience here.

Leadership Letter: 

This newsletter features results from an online survey conducted in collaboration with our friends at Evidence-Based Associates on Model/Model Plus and Promising Programs’ COVID-19 (COVID) response.
 
In May 2020, Blueprints self-funded a survey that was administered to contacts listed for the Blueprints certified programs on how evidence-based interventions had responded to, and begun to plan for, the aftermath of the COVID pandemic. The 2020 survey contained eight questions and 58 of the 94 programs surveyed responded, for a 62 percent response rate. 
 
This one-year follow-up, administered between May and June 2021, had a 58% response rate (57 of the 99 certified programs responded).
 
Results show most programs have experienced a small (or no) impact in delivering services as a direct result of COVID. However, a wide range of modifications to service delivery and implementation strategies were reported – findings that remained relatively stable over time.

Go here to review the May 2021 findings. 
 
Impact of COVID-19 on dissemination/implementation 

Most programs reported either no significant impact in service delivery from COVID, or a small impact causing some difficulties in maintaining dissemination but overall stability. In addition, more than one-quarter reported a positive impact, with COVID providing new opportunities for development. There was, however, a small percentage of programs that experienced a great impact, leading to discontinuation or serious difficulties in sustaining dissemination of their Blueprints-certified program.
 

Status of the dissemination/implementation 

The data show the majority of programs that completed our survey had received requests for changes to the delivery modality and training/support of their intervention. These findings were relatively consistent across the initial (May 2020) and follow-up (May 2021) surveys. As of May 2020, just under half reported experiencing new requests for the adoption of their model – a number that increased by ten percentage points, as measured by the May 2021 responses. Meanwhile, none had discontinued implementation in the wake of COVID as of May 2020 (a percentage that slightly increased in May 2021), but some reported they temporarily suspended their program (a percentage that slightly decreased from the initial to the follow-up survey).
 

Modifications to service delivery 

We conducted our May 2020 survey as many states were experiencing varying levels of stay-at-home orders, schools had been abruptly closed, and most business and childcare facilities were either shut down or beginning to phase in opening plans. As a result, programs were quickly faced with important decisions to ensure the safe continuity of programming while following public health guidelines. Just under one-quarter had not modified the intervention or its delivery due to COVID at the time of our May 2020 survey. The majority, however, provided online resources, turned to tele-sessions and/or video conferencing, and/or offered online training or lessons to support service delivery. A small percentage started a blog as a forum for conversation.
 
By May 2021, as the United States and some countries around the world had begun to ease restrictions with the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, most programs continued to modify their service delivery by providing online resources and training and turning to tele-sessions/video conferencing – however, these numbers consistently increased by roughly 10 percentage points. Meanwhile, those blogging to offer a forum for conversation remained a small percentage (and this number dropped in half from May 2020 to May 2021).
 
In a new question posed with the follow-up survey, we found that an overwhelming majority had implemented changes to their delivery modality. An even greater majority also had implemented changes to their training/support model. 
 

Impact of modified service delivery on intervention outcomes 

More than one-third of survey respondents are either collecting data or plan to collect data soon on the relationship between modifications made due to COVID and intervention outcomes. This finding was consistent across both surveys. However, just over one-quarter reported in May 2020 that they do not have the resources to collect these data – a number that increased to over one-third in May 2021.
 

What was learned about implementing evidence-based interventions in the context of COVID?

We included an open-ended item asking about lessons learned. Responses are summarized here:

  • The pandemic highlighted the importance of evidence-based programs for youth as needs increased (e.g. increased levels of behavioral and mental health problems) and virtual programming revealed the basic needs of families supporting these youths (e.g. food insecurity, housing, mental and basic health resources).
  • Though developing virtual formats while maintaining fidelity to essential program elements is a lot of work, many programs found various levels of success in providing online/virtual training and/or implementation.
  • There is a need for in-person/online hybrid models. Virtual delivery encounters challenges – e.g., lack of access to or difficulties among participants with incorporating technology, inability to fully conduct interactive program activities, and lower levels of engagement and community-building. Virtual delivery also provides opportunities – e. g., increased engagement by removing barriers to access, reaching a wider audience, and reducing costs of training and delivery.
  • For school-based programs, hard copy curricula must take advantage of the modern classroom and technology so that schools will continue to adopt these programs. Teachers have learned to use technology more effectively, and will continue to use technology platforms to assist with teaching.
  • Flexibility is key for any program.

On March 11, 2020, the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Since then, COVID has touched all aspects of life, from health care and mental health services to education, the environment, and the economy. Blueprints seeks to assist evidence-based interventions in sharing our survey data so that we can work together in supporting families and communities through the complexities of these challenging times. We hope the resources provided by survey respondents and shared in the next section of this newsletter offer helpful tips and ideas.
 
Sincerely,


Pamela Buckley, PhD
Principal Investigator
Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Pamela.Buckley@Colorado.edu


Karl G. Hill, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator
Chair of the Blueprints Board
Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Karl.Hill@Colorado.edu

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development is hosted by the University of Colorado Boulder, Institute of Behavioral Science, with current funding from Arnold Ventures and former funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Each intervention included in the Blueprints database has been reviewed carefully by an independent advisory panel that looked at research on the intervention’s impact, practical focus and potential for implementation in public systems.

Blueprints News & Resources 
COVID-19 Response Resources
 
In lieu of featuring one Model/Model Plus and one Promising program as we have historically done in each newsletter, below are links to resources provided from survey responses that support evidence-based interventions in offering services during COVID. Several links are updates from what was provided along with results from the May 2020 survey. However, some new links have been added that were reported with the May 2021 follow-up survey results.

Model/Model Plus Programs
 
Body Project (a multi-session group intervention designed to prevent the onset of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating among female high school and college students with body image concerns).
A version for delivery by videoconference rather than in-person is available at no cost by contacting the program developer: Dr. Paul Rohde (paulr@ori.org).
 
Botvin LifeSkills Training (a classroom-based program designed to prevent teenage drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco use, violence and other risk behaviors by teaching students self-management skills, social skills, and drug awareness and resistance skills).
For COVID-related resources, go to:
LST COVID-19 Update
e-Learning Version of LST Middle School 1 (e-LST)
 
Early College High School Model (a high school model designed to increase students’ access to a postsecondary credential, particularly for underrepresented students).
The following guidance on using federal relief money applies to all college programs offered in high school, which includes early colleges: Early College COVID-19 Guidance
 
Multisystemic Therapy® (a juvenile crime prevention program designed to improve the real-world functioning of youth by changing their natural settings – home, school, and neighborhood – in ways that promote prosocial behavior while decreasing antisocial behavior).
For COVID-related resources, go to: MST COVID-19 Statement
 
Nurse-Family Partnership (a nurse home visiting program for first-time pregnant mothers designed to improve prenatal and child rearing practices through the child’s second birthday).
The links below provide COVID-related resources:
NFP Response to COVID-19
NFP COVID-19 Update for Moms
 
Project Towards No Drug Abuse (classroom-based drug prevention program designed for at-risk youth that aims to prevent teen drinking, smoking, marijuana, and other hard drug use).
Online resources can be found here: Transition to Online Implementation
 
ParentCorps (a multi-level intervention designed for pre-kindergarten children living in low-income neighborhoods to create safe, nurturing, and predictable environments at home and in the classroom and improve relationships and communication between parents and teachers).
For COVID-related resources, go to: Tools for Educators and Families
 
Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (a classroom-based social emotional learning program for elementary school students to reduce aggression and behavior problems).
For COVID-related resources, go to:
PATHS Online Free Resources COVID-19
Additional Resources for Remote Teaching
 

Promising Programs
 
Child First (a two-generation home visitation program that provides psycho-therapeutic services and intensive care coordination, while building adult reflective and executive capacity, to prevent or diminish serious emotional disturbance, developmental and learning disabilities, and abuse and neglect among young children).
The links below provide COVID-related resources:
Podcast on how Child First adapted their Home-Visiting Model During the Pandemic
Webinar: Child First Telehealth Case Presentation
Child First COVID-19 Resources
Resources for Home Visiting Models
Practice Spotlight: Dyadic Play via Telehealth
Practice Spotlight: Creative Ways to Engage Families
 
The Good Behavior Game (classroom management approach that rewards children for displaying appropriate on-task behaviors during instructional times).
For COVID-related resources, go to: How Positive Reinforcement Can Keep Students Engaged in a Virtual Setting
 
Head Start REDI (an enrichment program for low-income preschoolers and their families that supplements the Head Start preschool program).
Free online training and coaching modules (small charge to get credits for completing the modules):
Better Kid Care
 
Incredible Years®

  1. Parent (a group-based program that strengthens parent competencies to promote young children’s social, emotional, and academic competence and prevent the development of conduct problems).
  2. Teacher Classroom Management (a program that provides teachers of children ages 3-8 years with classroom management strategies to manage difficult behavior while promoting social, emotional, and academic competence).
  3. Child Treatment (a child treatment program used by counselors and therapists to treat children ages 3-8 years with conduct problems, ADHD, and internalizing problems).

For COVID-related resources, go to each of these links: 1) Incredible Years Online Workshops and Video Streaming; and 2) Incredible Years Resources for Group Leaders 
 
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (a program designed for children and their parents that focuses on decreasing child behavior problems, increasing positive parent behaviors, and improving the quality of the parent-child relationship).
For COVID-related resources, go to:
PCIT COVID-19 Therapist and Trainer Resources
Resources for Parents
 
Promoting First Relationships (a training program for promoting secure and healthy relationships between caregivers and young children birth to three years of age).
The links below provide COVID-related telehealth resources:
Department of Health and Human Services
Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health
ACEs Connection
 
Promoting Health Among Teens! (Abstinence Only) (a program to to reduce risky sexual behavior for African American youth by providing information on sexual risks and helping teens build negotiation, refusal, and problem solving skills for practicing abstinence).
For COVID-related resources, go to: Virtual Training of Educators
 
SPORT and InShape Prevention Plus Wellness (a health promotion program that highlights the positive image benefits of an active lifestyle to reduce the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use by high school students).
For COVID-related resources, go to: Prevention Plus Wellness Remote Implementation
 
Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 (a group program that aims to promote good parenting skills and positive family relationships; reduce aggressive, hostile behavior, and substance abuse in adolescence; and improve family relationships).
For COVID-related resources, go to: Strengthening Families COVID-19 Resources
 
Tools of the Mind (an early childhood program designed to promote academic learning and prosocial behaviors by supporting the development of executive function and other regulation-related skills).
The links below provide COVID-related resources:
Tools COVID-19 Resource Center
Tools @ Home for Parents
Preparing for Virtual Workshops & Technical Assistance (TA)
 
Triple P System (a public health approach to reach all parents in a community to enhance parental competence and prevent or alter dysfunctional parenting practices, thereby reducing family risk factors both for child maltreatment and for children’s behavioral and emotional problems.)
Triple P America delivered several webinars on delivering Triple P remotely and using Triple P Online. Recordings of these webinars are available by emailing: contact.us@triplep.net. Also, these links provide free resources developed in response to COVID:
Parenting During COVID-19
COVID-19 Module
 
Year Up (a training and internship program that helps young people with limited post-secondary education get high-quality jobs by learning to work with technology, developing employment skills, and obtaining internships).
Online COVID-related articles:
Forbes: Year Up’s Shift To Virtual Operations
New York Times: Gaining Skills Virtually to Close the Inequality Gap

Blueprints Virtual Talks 

  • Drs. Pamela Buckley and Karl Hill gave a talk at the Prevention Science Methodology Group Virtual Grand Rounds on Addressing Health Equity and Social Justice within Prevention Registries. The webinar first presented an overview of the Blueprints registry, and then discussed concerns regarding adaptation/cultural relevance that registry staff and users encounter with increasing frequency. Next, an overview of a recently funded project was presented that begins to address these concerns within Blueprints. While lack of representation of youth of color in health-related research studies has been well-documented, a critical evaluation of this omission has not been undertaken to substantiate this claim. This new project involves reviewing the scope of extant research on representation of ethnic minority groups in preventive intervention research, thus serving as a vehicle for decision-making regarding the generalizability of evidence-based interventions listed on clearinghouse websites (such as Blueprints). Go here to download slides and view the webinar.
  • Dr. Pamela Buckley participated in a panel at the 36th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment presented by the Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. The virtual conference was designed to equip and support professionals in the child welfare field to effectively identify and address child maltreatment, trauma, and violence. The presentation, titled Child Welfare And Evidence Registries: Comparative Analysis, explained the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse, which was developed for the Family First Prevention Services Act, and compared it to the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse (CEBC) and Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development. The purpose was to discuss how registries can inform decision-making in the adoption of evidence-based interventions specific to the child welfare system. The panel discussion can be viewed online by clicking here.

Blueprints Publications

In case you have missed them, here are a few papers published by staff and Advisory Board members of the Blueprints team:

  • Combs et al. (2021) conducted a study that explored whether teachers trained online have similar levels of fidelity of implementation compared to teachers trained in-person on the Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) middle school program (a Blueprints Model Plus intervention). Findings indicate that online training builds competencies important for school-based EBI implementation, while also highlighting potential shortcomings related to quality of delivery. The authors conclude that ensuring the inclusion of experiential learning activities (e.g., practice delivering content, receiving feedback on delivery) may be key to quality of delivery as online trainings for facilitators of school-based EBIs evolve. Go here to read the full study (published as an open-access article).
  • Blueprints promotes only those interventions with the strongest scientific support. Blueprints staff recently published a paper that describes the common methodological problems in randomized control trials that prevent interventions from being certified by Blueprints (Steeger, Buckley et al., 2021). Read more here.
  • Blueprints staff and board members published a paper that examined the prevalence of transparent research practices for studies reviewed by Blueprints from 2018 through 2019 (Buckley et al., 2021). Specifically, the study examined the rate of 1) public availability of data, code and research materials used to conduct confirmatory research, 2) prospective registration or registration before data analysis, and 3) discrepancies between confirmatory research reported in the trial registration (i.e., registered primary outcomes) and those included in articles (i.e., published primary outcomes). Findings suggest that: 1) preventive intervention research needs to be more transparent, and 2) since clearinghouses rely on robust findings to make well-informed decisions and researchers are incentivized to meet clearinghouse standards, clearinghouses should consider policies that encourage transparency to improve the credibility of evidence-based interventions. Go here to read the paper. The preprint (full copy report) can be read by clicking here.
  • A full list of Blueprints’ publications can be found on our website by clicking here.

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© 2021 Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, Regents of the University of Colorado. All rights reserved. 

Our mailing address is:
University of Colorado Boulder | Institute of Behavioral Science
483 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309