Monday, November 28, 2011

Are the foundational pieces in place to begin implementation of your strategic plan?

In my previous work in Louisiana as the Governor’s Executive Director over the SPF-Sig as well as Executive Director of Safe & Drug Free Schools and Louisiana’s Drug Policy Board, I found that one of the most challenging aspects of prevention work at the community level was addressing high need, low capacity within the identified communities.  As you know, there are many challenges in being assured that those communities are readyand can achieve success.  Jim and I have worked in over 60 schools and communities across 20 states in prevention strategies and have found that agencies and communities were funded and felt they were ready to address such issues as high risk drinking, illegal substance use and its precursors, school attendance, graduation rates, stress, parents supporting other parents, and others.  However, when it came time to actually implement their strategic plans, many of the critical foundational pieces were not in place. That’s when we often become involved and work with sites to assess their readiness and develop plans to build capacity where needed.  Being on site ensures cultural competency for the project as each community has unique characteristics, assets and challenges. 
Our model has integrated the best practices of both fieldwork and research from a number of leaders in the country, including the Tri Ethnic Center for Prevention and Research, Colorado State University, the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Daniels Fund’s Partnership Strategies for Success and others.
If this work would add value to your technical assistance plan and framework to support and strengthen your efforts, we would be happy to discuss our Community Readiness Assessment and Capacity Building Model with you.  This work generally involves being on site for 2 days with preparation work beforehand.