"Best practice" or "promising practice" programming models should be utilized if these models meet community needs and can be implemented. If adaptations are required to meet the unique needs of the community, it should be noted that any modifications to established program models may reduce the likelihood of achieving the predicted outcomes.
According to Western Region Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (Western CAPT) three categories that best describe the effectiveness of program models, curricula, and strategies that have emerged in the field of prevention programs for youth are:
- Best Practices: Those strategies and programs deemed research-based by scientists and researchers at the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), National Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP); National Center for the Advancement of Prevention (NCAP); and/or the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). Substantial research and evaluation have shown these strategies and programs to be effective at preventing and/or delaying substance abuse and/or other risky behaviors.
- Promising Practices: For these programs and strategies, some quantitative data show positive outcomes in delaying substance abuse and/or other risky behaviors over a period of time. These studies, however, do not provide sufficient data to support generalizeable outcomes or program replication.
- Unproven Practices: Programs or strategies showing little quantitative data or mostly anecdotal data. These programs and strategies have not been formally replicated. Teen REACH funds may be used to purchase training materials and attend special training sessions for the use of evidence-based program models at the Best and Promising Practices levels.
Teen REACH providers can consult several web sites for best practices in prevention (see Appendix). These sites give information on optimal conditions for program delivery, costs, and training required for implementation. Where the websites are not listed, the keywords for the internet are listed in the Best Practices Column of the specific core service.