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Cuttting Child Poverty in Half


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Determining Best Strategies for Allocating the Pharmaceutical Settlement Dollars to Abate the Opioid Crisis

June 11, 2024

This briefing featured experts in pathways to substance use and addiction, authors of key recommendations for spending the settlement funds, and public health solutions that hold promise to turn this crisis around by investing in a full spectrum of responses to the crisis, rather than singularly focused approaches (e.g., only interdiction, prescription regulations, or treatment).  A scoping landscape analysis of how these monies are currently being allocated across states was presented, along with observations from community stakeholders about whether funds are being used wisely to address their diverse needs. In addition, a newly developed groundbreaking simulation platform was presented that employs an innovative technology based on system dynamics modeling with AI analytics to determine the most effective programmatic approaches to quell the crisis using settlement funds.

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Building Sustainable Infrastructure to Implement Programs that Promote Healthy Development in Our Youth and Prevent Behavioral Problems

March 27, 2024

The National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives hosted a congressional briefing with internationally recognized experts on state-level systems to deliver youth-focused prevention programs in communities. Specific actionable steps for building and sustaining an infrastructure for delivering effective preventive interventions to promote healthy outcomes in our youth is discussed.

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Harm Reduction as an Essential Part of a Comprehensive Strategy to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

June 28, 2023

The National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives hosted a congressional briefing to discuss the policy relevance of harm reduction strategies to improve the physical and mental health and aid in the recovery of people of all ages who are using psychoactive substances, including opioids. Harm reduction is an effective public health policy that protects people who use drugs from other illnesses and injuries while they work to manage their usage and related health conditions. Some strategies include medications such as methadone and Narcan, as well as Good Samaritan Laws and stigma-reducing language. By increasing our understanding of addiction and incorporating scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of harm reduction into federal and local policymaking,routine medical training, and continued education, we can ensure that patients with OUD will have access to the care they need and that the potential to break the intergenerational cycle of addiction can be realized.


Universal Benefits of School Programs that Bolster the Behavioral Health and Educational Success of Our Youth

April 19, 2023

The National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives (NPSC), the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC) at Penn State University hosted a congressional briefing with international experts to discuss the urgent need to invest in school programs that promote healthy social, behavioral, and emotional development. People competent in these domains tend to do better in every aspect of life—from health to wealth. School curricula designed to instill these competencies in children have been demonstrated to sustainably improve their abilities to achieve developmental and academic milestones, cope with stress, maintain quality relationships, and prevent mental and behavioral health problems, including substance misuse, violence, and suicide. Federal and state educational policies that support the provision of these programs will ensure our children are instilled with the skills needed for them to succeed throughout life.

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Science-Driven Approaches to Reducing Inequities Through Public Health Policy

December 6, 2022

The National Prevention Science Coalition hosted a congressional briefing on deploying prevention strategies to improve racial equity, particularly in issue areas such as health and education.  Research and experience provide guidance about what works to reduce racial disparities and improve health outcomes for all Americans.  Despite the existence of strategies shown to reduce inequities and foster equitable practices, translating that knowledge into effective policies has lagged behind the science. During this briefing, national experts presented approaches to advance equity by implementing prevention-informed policies, discussed policies likely to have a population level impact and others that are targeted to specific social conditions within communities, and discussed how researchers and public sectors can work together to enact such change.

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Policy Strategies to Support Children's Development, Health, & Wellbeing

October 4, 2022

The National Prevention Science Coalition and the FRONTIER program at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, co-hosted a briefing with internationally recognized experts on child neurobiology to present their findings on the essential role of economic support for young families in promoting healthy child development.  Speakers discussed the science of early brain development, studies that examine how measures of brain function are indicators of improved academic social and self-regulation skills later in childhood, and the evidence for the positive effects of modest economic support for young families.

Veteran Directed Care: An Effective, Research-based, and Cost-saving Program

September 29, 2021

The National Prevention Science Coalition and Bay Aging co-hosted a briefing to discuss the needs of veteran families, highlighting the
value of the Veteran Directed Care (VDC) program and the important role it plays in the lives of veterans and their families. In addition to quality of care, we discussed the financial savings realized by this approach.

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Leveraging Science to Inform Policies that Strengthen Learning and Health in a Post-COVID-19 World

May 26, 2021

The National Prevention Science Coalition and the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University co-hosted a briefing with internationally recognized early childhood development expert Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., to discuss the critical opportunity that lies before us to prevent costly, lifelong problems in physical and mental health, learning, and development for all Americans.


Now is the time to rethink policies and programs in order to ensure a strong start for every young child. Why? Because early childhood policies and services are at a critical inflection point—longstanding concerns about fragile infrastructure and chronic funding constraints have been laid bare by fallout from the pandemic. A different approach is needed for our children, our families, and the strength of our communities.

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The Real Dangers of Equating Opioid Dependence with Addiction

November 19, 2019

The National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives (NPSC) and the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus (ATRco-hosted a briefing with internationally recognized experts to discuss the dual challenges of addiction and dependence in developing policy responses to the opioid epidemic.  Although many people conflate addiction and dependence, they are not the same, and the distinction has important implications for the millions of people who rely on opioid medications for pain management.

Cutting Child Poverty in Half Within a Decade

March 14, 2019

The U.S. Child Poverty Action Group, First Focus, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the NPSC hosted a Congressional briefing, Cutting Child Poverty in Half Within a Decade, to hear from leading experts on a new landmark study from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and learn how Members of Congress and other stakeholders can utilize its findings to reduce child poverty and its negative consequences in the United States. This study included analysis of the economic, health, and social costs of child poverty to our society, as well as the effectiveness of current anti-poverty programs--including international, federal, state, and local efforts--to reduce child poverty. Based on this analysis, the study committee issued a set of evidence-based policy recommendations about how to cut the national child poverty rate in half within a decade.

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Revitalizing Communities Across America: Philanthropic and Federal Investments

May 30, 2018

During this session three National Foundation leaders (Presidents of William T. Grant and Annie E. Casey and the Senior VP of the Laura and John Arnold Foundations) addressed government agencies about initiatives they fund to revitalize economic, academic, and social life in communities across America.  We hope to continue to engage federal lawmakers, agencies, and organizations in a conversation about the alignments between the efforts of the federal government and philanthropic organizations to pursue a common agenda. The conversation stimulated discussion of innovative, collaborative solutions by government, charitable organizations and communities, as well as the limits of these investments that currently exist. 

School Violence, Safety, and Well-Being: A Comprehensive Approach

March 23, 2018

One day before the student-led “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington, D.C, the NPSC convened a congressional briefing on school violence. We did not limit our Briefing to school shootings, but rather brought together top thinkers and practitioners who recognize that our common goal is to achieve student safety and well-being in addition to the absence of violence.  The experts discussed topics pertinent to school violence, ranging from early prevention efforts to reforms in laws and policies surrounding guns.  Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Lauren Hogg gave a first-hand account of the mass shooting that killed 17 people.  Julie Pollack, step-mother of Meadow Pollack who was one of the 17 murdered at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, conveyed to us what that has meant to her as a Mother and as an Emergency Physician.

Preventing Human Trafficking

November 02, 2017

The NPSC hosted a congressional briefing in partnership with the Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus and several sponsors (Global Alliance, APA, Div 37, SPSSI, and Center for Healthy Children).  A panel of researchers described (1) conditions that increase a person’s vulnerability to trafficking victimization, (2) community-based strategies that can be tailored to local needs by task forces and key stakeholders (such as law enforcement, faith-based organizations, and nonprofits), and (3) strategies that have the potential to reduce individual risk of victimization. Additionally, a survivor, Audrey Morrissey, shared her perspective on how her victimization could have been prevented.

Budgeting for Evidence-Based Prevention

May 30, 2017

The NPSC and the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) co-hosted a briefing with nationally recognized experts who described ways to assess the cost-efficiency of evidence-based policy approaches that can improve health, reduce crime and delinquency, and increase economic security. Specifically, speakers reviewed considerations for budgeting and investing in prevention at the federal level, including (i) examples of cost-effective policy tools from prevention science, (ii) interpreting the quality of economic and budget projection models, and (iii) a state-based model for comparing the value of policy approaches. A discussant on evidence-based policy further described efforts to replicate the cost-comparison tool across states.

Police and Community Relations

May 16, 2017

This briefing focused on the available data on police community relationships and articulated promising policies and programs that can improve these relationships and boost safety and wellbeing.  Several strategies and initiatives generated by prevention science were presented.  Although policing is a local undertaking, the federal role is primarily in organizing its funding procedures and providing legislative guidance to enable the kinds of evidence-based initiatives that are needed.  Our speakers provided an overview of the challenges to enhancing police and community relations, presented scientific solutions, and discussed policy implications. 

Home Visiting

April 18, 2017

The Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RPC) effort within the National Prevention Science Coalition (NPSC) seeks to understand current legislative priorities and respond by matching research-based expertise to the most current and pressing needs among policymakers.  Therefore, on April 18, 2017 the RPC effort hosted a briefing with nationally recognized experts who focused on the scientific evidence for home visiting programs generally, and those funded through HRSA’s Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program more specifically. Speakers also examined the cost-effectiveness of home-visiting programs and the future directions of research in this area, enhanced by innovation and rigorous, empirical evaluation.

Childhood Poverty

March 01, 2017

The United States has the second highest child poverty rate among 35 industrialized nations and children in the U.S. are 69 percent more likely to live in poverty than adults.The NPSC, First Focus and the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Pennsylvania State University co-hosted a briefing with nationally recognized experts' perspectives on child and intergenerational poverty.  They provided an overview of this expansive problem and then covered interventions, strategies, and policies to prevent or reduce childhood poverty.

Preventing Violence Against Women

February 01, 2017

This briefing showcased nationally recognized experts on violence and sexual assault against women.  Though men are also victims, violence and sexual assault against women is pervasive on cultural and historical levels, and in varied settings, from the home and workplace to the military, college campuses and sex trade businesses. Importantly, violence against women has many victims, including children, families and the larger community; a sobering fact with significant policy implications. Our briefing speakers provided an overview of the problem and then discussed the sources of violence in particular settings and situations. Evidence-based strategies were presented that have been shown to prevent or reduce violence against women. Congressional legislators, Gwen Moore and Jim Costa, described their position on the issue and relevant legislation.

Evidence-based Policy

October 13, 2016

The growing use of scientific evidence in public policy is leading to greater accountability and effective government. Early successes have highlighted the importance of strong connections between legislative and research communities to create and translate research into actionable intelligence. The National Prevention Science Coalition, through its Research-to-Policy Collaboration project, hosted a briefing to discuss opportunities to overcome barriers and better support offices’ evidence-based policymaking efforts. In particular, this session considered promising approaches to strengthen connections between the research and policy arenas – moving beyond research synthesis available through traditional resources.


This briefing described a systematic process for researchers to understand legislators’ most pressing needs and facilitate timely connections with independent, outside researchers and scientific experts. Senior staffers from House and Senate offices and research experts involved with the Research-to-Policy Collaboration shared their experiences connecting with one another around legislators’ current priorities. In addition to describing new resources for legislative staff and how these processes may fuel policy-responsive research, this briefing provided an opportunity for legislative staff to engage in discussion about ways to further strengthen the use of research in policymaking.

Preventing Opioid Addictions

June 24, 2016

The NPSC through its Research-to-Policy Collaboration project hosted a briefing in collaboration with RTI International and the American Orthopsychiatry Association. Nationally recognized experts discussed research-based evidence for strategies preventing, intervening, and maintaining abstinence from opiate addictions. This briefing reviewed the empirical support for a number of approaches that could be part of a comprehensive strategy for addressing the heroin epidemic. Systematically addressing substance abuse commands the need for prevention strategies among youth, contending with current users identified through the criminal justice system, and encouraging abstinence among those coping with substance addictions in communities. These approaches inherently require coordinating efforts in a range of settings, including schools, primary care offices, courts, prisons, probation offices, and community or civic centers.

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Healthy Parenting through Primary Care

April 19, 2016

The NPSC with input from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health, the American Board of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, theAmerican Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, Mental Health America, the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors, and the National Association for Rural Mental Health, hosted a briefing with nationally recognized experts on pediatric health care and the prevention of behavioral health problems. This briefing summarized the effectiveness of family focused preventive interventions, shared the life changing experiences of people who have participated, and explored the potential for integrating effective family-focused preventive interventions into primary health care to measurably improve population health.

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Reducing Poverty

December 02, 2015

The NPSC hosted a briefing with nationally recognized experts on poverty. Poverty is an urgent and multi-faceted problem that underlies, in part, the recent upheavals in several American cities. Our briefing speakers focused on evidence-based prevention practices shown to a) improve individual and family economic security, b) lessen the negative effects of poverty (e.g., poor child development, academic failure, mental illness), and c) break the cycle of poverty across multiple generations. These strategies can strengthen families and communities, help youth to develop successfully, and save taxpayer dollars. Congressional legislators discussed their approach to poverty and its relevance to prevention.

Violence Prevention

July 22, 2015

The NPSC hosted a briefing with nationally recognized experts on violence prevention and positive youth development. The meeting focused on individual-level and environmental factors that influence development and increase propensity for youth violence.  Strategies were then discussed for short-term and longer range reduction in violence.  These strategies can save taxpayer dollars while strengthening individuals, families, and communities. There was also discussion about Youth PROMISE Act (YPA) legislation for helping youth to develop into healthy and successful adults.


Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott presented on this bipartisan prevention-related legislation.  Opening Remarks were made by Rep. Tony Cardenas, Co-Chair of the Crime Prevention and Youth Development Caucus.  Dr. Rebecca Vivrette from University of Maryland School of Medicine provided an overview and information about the NPSC Youth Violence Prevention Working Group.

Economics of Prevention

May 14, 2015

The NPSC hosted a briefing with nationally recognized experts on the economics of prevention. The meeting focused on specific strategies that can prevent human suffering, save tax payer dollars, and strengthen the labor market across different sectors. There was a special emphasis on the use of Social Impact Bonds (SIB)/ Pay for Success (PFS) vehicles as one way to finance prevention. Congressional legislators discussed their bipartisan legislation to support this performance-based financing of prevention.

Science to Policy

December 03, 2014

The NPSC hosted a briefing with nationally recognized experts on getting evidence-based prevention science into legislation and into the work of government agencies.  This session should be of value to researchers/practitioners/interest groups seeking to influence policy; and to legislators/administrators seeking to incorporate prevention science into their work. Representatives Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), John Conyers (D-MI-13), and Todd Young (R-IN-9) made opening remarks. 

Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Social Work Helper; Dr. Charles Lewis, Jr.

The congressional briefing on December 3, 2014, hosted by the NPSC, was a success.  If you missed it, read this article written by one of the attendees.

Juvenile Justice Reform

September 17, 2014

Our third briefing consisted of nationally recognized experts on reducing crime and promoting positive youth development. The briefing covered topics of concern to the newly formed congressional Crime Prevention and Youth Development Caucus. Representative Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29), Caucus Co-Chair, and Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) spoke.

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Scaling-up Implementation

January 14, 2014

Our second briefing focused on ways to scale up well-established prevention programs and emphasized what policymakers need to know to successfully support and monitor the rigorous implementation of such programs. Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29) and Robert Pittenger (R-NC-09) spoke.

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Interventions Across Policy Areas

September 10, 2013

Our initial Congressional briefing  promoted governmental adoption of evidence-based prevention programs in many policy areas (e.g., reducing substance abuse) in order to reduce budget deficits and further benefit society (prevention policy paper). Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) spoke.

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