There is more to the international transfer of prevention programs than just hitting the “copy and paste” buttons. The introduction of the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program to Ireland offers insights into how to succeed.
Social Development Research Group
The Social Development Research Group – affiliated to the School of Social Work at the University of Washington in Seattle – was founded by David Hawkins and its current Director Richard Catalano. SDRG's research is used to promote achievement and success and prevent and health and behavior problems among young people. It has specialized in understanding and responding to problems of drug abuse, delinquency, risky sexual behavior, violence, and school dropout rates. It has led a major longitudinal study of children’s well-being – the Seattle Social Development Project – and the design, implementation and evaluation of programs including Raising Healthy Children.
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Few people working with children will have heard the term “prevention scientist,” let alone know what one is or does. Yet this relatively new breed of researcher is behind the growing list of evidence-based programs being promoted in western developed countries. A new publication puts them under the microscope.
Crime and antisocial behavior prevention efforts have flourished over the last 10 years in the US. This progress can and should be used to help communities improve the life chances of their young people, a recent update urges.
Given the well-known barriers to implementing evidence-based programs, is it better to identify their discrete elements and trust practitioners to combine them in tailored packages depending on the needs of the child and family in question?