Session: A Provincial Strategy to Implement Healthy Relationships Programming: Working with Policy-Makers, Communities and Schools to Improve Adolescent Well-Being and Reduce Dating Violence (Society for Prevention Research 24th Annual Meeting)

2-009 A Provincial Strategy to Implement Healthy Relationships Programming: Working with Policy-Makers, Communities and Schools to Improve Adolescent Well-Being and Reduce Dating Violence

Wednesday, June 1, 2016: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Bayview B (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
Theme: Dissemination and Implementation Science
Symposium Organizer:
Deinera Exner-Cortens
The goal of this symposium is to describe the development, dissemination and adaptation of a five year (2012-2017), comprehensive provincial strategy to implement healthy relationships programming for adolescents in Alberta, Canada. To date, strategy components have been implemented province-wide, and over 23,000 adolescents have had the opportunity to receive programming. The symposium supports the conference themes of dissemination and implementation, as well as research, policy and practice, since a large part of the strategy involves working with policy-makers and practitioners to advance the use of evidence-based and evidence-informed healthy relationships programming. The symposium brings together three researchers who have been working on different aspects of the strategy: policy work, program evaluation and implementation science.

The first paper, “Working with policy-makers to build capacity for evidence-based programs: The development of the strategy” highlights how key policy-makers and systems leaders were engaged throughout the formulation of the strategy, as well as activities that were undertaken to meet the seven multi-systemic strategy components. This paper demonstrates how to successfully engage with broader systems and policy-makers in order to advance evidence-based prevention approaches.

The second paper, “Where the rubber meets the road: Variation, successes and challenges with Healthy Relationships Plus program (HRPP) implementation in Alberta” reviews implementation successes and challenges of a small group, out-of-class time program that promotes mental health and youth healthy relationships. This paper reports on implementation findings from 40 HRPP groups in different settings, and discusses predictors of implementation quality.

The third paper, “Applying lessons learned during the implementation of a province-wide strategy to promote youth healthy relationships: The need for adaptations to address barriers to success” discusses how data collected during the first three years of the strategy were used to inform adaptations to activities, in order to better meet the needs of stakeholders involved in program implementation, and achieve the overall strategy goal of improving youth well-being. This paper illustrates the process of using data-informed approaches to improve prevention programming.

At the conclusion of the presentations, the discussant will review the papers and facilitate dialogue amongst presenters and attendees. As many SPR members are actively involved in program dissemination/implementation on a wide scale, the information presented in this symposium should be of broad interest, particularly around the continual engagement with policy-makers and systems leaders, and the focus on systems change.

* noted as presenting author
Working with Policy-Makers to Build Capacity for Evidence-Based Programs: The Development of a Provincial Strategy
Lana Wells, MSW, University of Calgary; Elizabeth Dozois, MA, Word on the Street Ltd; Elena Esina, MSW, University of Calgary
Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Variation, Successes and Challenges with the Healthy Relationships Plus Program Implementation in Alberta
Claire V Crooks, PhD, Western University; Laura Orton, MA, Western University; Amanda Kerry, MEd, Western University
Applying Lessons Learned during the Implementation of a Province-Wide Strategy to Promote Youth Healthy Relationships: The Need for Adaptations to Address Barriers to Success
Deinera Exner-Cortens, PhD, University of Calgary; Lana Wells, MSW, University of Calgary; Elena Esina, MSW, University of Calgary