NPSC Projects

The NPSC engages in a range of efforts, including voluntary, prospective, and contracted initiatives.

Below is a list of ongoing efforts.

Expanding the Impact of NPSC via the Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations

June 28, 2018

The NPSC is partnering with five other behavioral science organizations to advance the application of our scientific knowledge and methods to benefit society. In addition to the NPSC, the Coalition of Behavioral Science Organizations (CBSO) includes the Association for Behavior Analysis International, the Association for Contextual Behavior Science, the Association for Positive Behavior Support, the Evolution Institute, and the Society of Behavioral Medicine. For nearly a year, the CBSO’s organizations have been working to together to develop a joint position statement outlining our guiding principles and to progress the planning of coalition activities and objectives. Many if not all of the problems that we face as societies are at their core problems of human behavior and environments. The CBSO members are confident that the knowledge behavioral and social scientists have accumulated about human behavior, coupled with the scientific methods we have generated and refined, can enable our societies to achieve unprecedented advances in human wellbeing. The CBSO’s joint statement fits well with NPSC’s vision: “Guided by science, the NPSC envisions a society that fosters nurturing environments and caring relationships for the well-being of all.” To read the CBSO values statement, click below. 

Research to Policy Collaboration (RPC)

This effort aims to connect Congressional and other government offices with research-based expertise according to their needs for support in current efforts related to developing or implementing legislation. This project employs strategies for developing productive working relationships between prevention researchers, practitioners (i.e., professionals with applied research and evaluation expertise), and public officials. Participating offices will work with a selected researchers and practitioners to develop a strategic plan for future collaboration involving the use of evidence-based (EB) prevention practices into public policies. The current effort focuses on ways the NPSC's members can support crime prevention at the federal level. If this pilot effort is successful, we hope to enhance and expand this work regarding other topics and other levels of governance. 

Poverty Reduction

The NPSC plans to work with its Affiliate organizations to further partnerships between researchers, practitioners, community and national organizations, federal agency administrators, and policy-makers to promote ways in which evidence-based prevention science can more effectively address poverty than current approaches.  Importantly, community partners will be engaged to ensure the fit and feasibility of locally adopted programs.  They will also help to address and manage local implementation challenges and increase buy-in and readiness in the community.  Investigators, implementation scientists, economists, and practitioners who are members of the NPSC (and many who are on the Board of Directors) have a track record of conducting studies and implementing programs in high poverty communities. Thus, we have significant investment and experience in this track.  We propose to accomplish this goal, first by educating the public, media, Congress, and federal agencies regarding the scientific alternatives to reducing poverty. We will utilize such means as op-eds, press conferences, congressional briefings, written materials, and relationships with legislators/administrators. Second, we will write a scholarly article for a prominent journal on ways in which preventive interventions improve the economic security of individuals and families. And third, we will identify foundation and federal grant solicitations for (a) research that fills existing gaps, and (b) implementation and evaluation of evidence-based programs to reduce poverty and its adverse consequences; applications from relevant experts in our membership will be encouraged. And finally, we will further develop relationships with national organizations and foundations that focus on poverty to scale up these efforts, ensuring a broad impact.  See our full proposal here.

Healthy Child Development

One of our major initiatives, “Healthy Child Development through Prevention Science”, is designed to identify and advocate for scientifically based strategies that will improve outcomes for children and their families. The goal is to prevent development of problems such as substance abuse, delinquency, mental illness, and violence, while saving taxpayers’ money. Working with individual congressional offices, caucuses, and committees, the effort supplies information and resources, and brings together Congressional staffers for briefings and other forums to enhance their work on child development and inform corresponding legislation.

State Implementation Technical Assistance

The NPSC is working to help states better utilize prevention and implementation science in a coordinated fashion across public systems. As part of a demonstration project to establish “proof of concept”, in partnership with the Coalition for Behavioral Health we convened a leadership summit on “Unleashing the Power of Prevention” for Utah policymakers and state agency leaders in December 2015. We brought together Utah state leaders in human services, public health, substance abuse, public safety, and mental health and facilitated their development of a strategic and coordinated plan. They will use the plan to infuse coordinated prevention strategies throughout state systems in 2016/2017, and NPSC will continue to assist with ongoing technical assistance and implementation. Response to the initial summit was very positive, and a number of follow up activities within individual state systems are already being implemented. Our intention is to replicate this process in additional states over the next 18 months, to help strengthen the system-wide capacity of governments to effectively implement evidence-based strategies and science-driven practices shown to reduce risks and disadvantages. Ideally, in each state, after the initial leadership summit and development of a multi-agency action plan the NPSC will work in partnership with the state to identify and secure federal, state, and philanthropic resources to support the prioritized strategies.

Family Economic Security

A team of NPSC members is collaborating to reduce poverty and its adverse consequences for children and families.  Currently the United States faces the highest rate of child poverty of any developed country.  Youth growing up in poverty face a myriad of problems that hinder their ability to reach their potential with higher rates of problems including school failure, behavioral and psychological problems, addiction and depression, to name a few.  In addition, impoverished youth are faced with the development of chronic health problems in adulthood.  A working group of the NPSC is identifying evidence-based programs that have either direct or indirect economic impacts on individuals and families.   Current research is establishing that such strategies have potential to uplift families, schools and communities out of the cycle of intergenerational poverty.  Through implementing and disseminating proven programs, the NPSC will then work to expand their scope and scale to benefit a greater number of recipients.

North Carolina Implementation Capacity to Support the Triple P

This project has several purposes related to the implementation and scale-up of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program system of interventions (Triple P) in North Carolina.  First, the project team at FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill will continue their evaluation of the implementation and scale-up of Triple P in two North Carolina counties (click here to read about findings from the initial evaluation).  Additional evaluation activities will include qualitative interviews with state, county, and local service agency administrators to illuminate key factors related to developing county and local capacity to support the delivery of Triple P interventions. 

Second, the FPG project team will develop training and technical assistance plans and quality improvement tools that can be used by local North Carolina counties and statewide partners to expand support for the effective and sustainable scale-up of Triple P.  Third, they will provide direct training and technical assistance to one NC county that is scaling-up Triple P to demonstrate and refine the utility of the training and technical assistance plans and tools developed.  Lastly, the team will identify and work with, in partnership with other North Carolina statewide partners, an intermediary organization to build their capacity to sustain training and technical assistance to North Carolina counties scaling-up Triple P and similar evidence-based health and wellbeing programs.

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