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Community Prevention Strategies
Another method for measuring success involves documenting the use of Blueprints in community prevention strategies now in wide use. For example, Communities That Care (CTC), is a prevention system designed to reduce levels of adolescent delinquency and substance use through the selection and use of effective preventive interventions tailored to a community’s specific profile of risk and protection. CTC trains community members in how to select and expand their use of tested and effective interventions specifically using the Blueprints website. CTC is currently successfully operational in over 130 communities in the United States, such as in Colorado where the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) adopted CTC in 2016 as a statewide prevention model, and CDPHE presently funds 30 CTC communities across the state. Internationally, CTC is operating in dozens of communities around the world (including Germany, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Croatia, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Panama and Australia) to promote healthy development and reduce risk behavior.
An additional example is Evidence2Success®, which is an initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation that brings together public-system leaders and community members to understand how children are doing with the help of data; select evidence-based programs, including those from Blueprints to enhance strengths and address needs; and develop financing and action plans to support the ongoing use of those proven programs. The initiative began with a pilot site in Providence, RI in 2012 and has since expanded to Mobile, Alabama; Selma, Alabama; Kearns Township, Salt Lake County, Utah; Memphis, Tennessee; and Miami, Florida. As part of the Evidence2Success framework, public systems and schools commit up front to redirecting a portion of their combined resources for children. These partners work with a team of finance and administration professionals to identify funding sources within their agency budgets and coordinate funding to invest in programs that respond to the outcomes prioritized by the partnership. In recent years, the Foundation has carefully tracked the resources leveraged by sites in support of Blueprints programs and supporting infrastructure. Since 2017, sites have leveraged more than $6 million across child welfare, juvenile justice, school district, public health, social service, city, county, and substance abuse and mental health systems. The addition of related activities, such as clinical services and trauma trainings in Providence, raises the total amount leveraged to $15 million.
References in Evidence-Based Funding Guidelines
We track references to Blueprints in guides used to determine grant eligibility or that require evidence to support funding decisions. For example, the Pew Charitable Trusts cited Blueprints by name in a 2022 report titled How Nongovernmental Groups Can Support States in Evidence-Based Policymaking (see page 11). In addition, Blueprints is listed as a reference within the Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) housed within the US Department of Health & Human Services, and Blueprints is referenced in several reports prepared for SAMHSA such as:
Historically, Blueprints has been listed as a resource for locating evidence-based interventions in several handbooks developed to support funding mandates across the United States. Recent examples include:
Informing Standards of Research on Evidence-Based Programs
We monitor documents referencing Blueprints standards of evidence, highlighting the design, methods, and analysis issues Blueprints considers when determining the credibility of causal claims of program effectiveness. For example, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and World Health Organization recently suggested that national standards globally enforce a requirement of implementing evidence-based strategies only by utilizing registries such as Blueprints, citing the registry by name (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime & World Health Organization, 2018, see page 42). Meanwhile, A Guide to Writing High-Quality Evaluation Reports in Child Welfare distributed by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Urban Institute discussed key design elements for rigorous impact evaluations by analyzing the study rating criteria used at Blueprints (among other registries) to create an invaluable resource for anyone in the planning and design stages of impact evaluation in child welfare.
Media Op-Eds Highlighting Blueprints
We identify when Blueprints is mentioned in national and local media pieces, such as a New York Times op-ed on reducing school violence (Keels, 2018), several op-eds in local and national news media outlets advocating for a prevention strategy in dealing with the opioid surge (Riggs, 2022, Richter & Fishbein, 2022), and a discussion in The Hill of interventions such as those listed on the Blueprints registry that are effectively alleviating economic hardship (Baron, 2022).
And finally, we examine success in terms of scientific impact. Blueprints’ founder, Dr. Del Elliott, is a leading advocate for evidence-based prevention. His work has been cited over 27,000 times in scientific literature. In addition, we are aware of 48 different academic papers published since 2015 that discuss and/or reference Blueprints, and these publications have been cited (according to Google analytics) more than 3,500 times. We also maintain a publications page on our website listing academic papers written by Blueprints board and staff highlighting the registry’s work.
Launched in 1996, Blueprints recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. In preparing for next year and future work, we frequently reflect on our purpose and impact.
If you are aware of initiatives, funding mandates, frameworks, media pieces, academic papers or any other efforts that cite Blueprints as a resource for guiding decisions about investments in preventive interventions, please send this information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And as always, thank you for your continued interest in and support of Blueprints.