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2012 Prevention Guidelines Questions and Answers

Following the release of the updated 2012 Prevention Guidelines in March, 2012, staff from the OASAS Bureau of Prevention Services conducted regional presentations for OASAS providers. Here are the frequently asked questions concerning specific sections of the Guidelines that arose during those presentations, and the answers:

Prevention Performance Standards:

Q1- What reports will show whether providers are in compliance with the 80% planned vs. completed standard for services?

A - New reports are being developed for measurement of the new standards.

Q2 - Will these standards apply to the overall program or to individual Workplans?

A - We will look at both individual Workplans and the overall program (provider).

Q3 - Sometimes in prevention counseling the individual does not report any 30 day use at intake but once a relationship with the counselor has developed they are more open to discuss their AOD use with the counselor and more accurately report that they had used within the last 30 days. How will this be handled in PARIS re: the 90% standard?

A - OASAS will allow the provider to edit the information entered in the individual's Assessment for Prevention Counseling screen to more accurately reflect the individual's use at intake. This will remove the individual from the pool of individuals that the 90% standard applies to.

Q4 - In Prevention Counseling, what happens when the individual is referred re: the standard of 90% of PC participants will remain drug free at discharge?

A - This standard is for those individuals who are not using drugs prior to admission. A referral for other services would not remove him from the 90% standard.

Q5a - Does the 80% standard for the number of participants relate to the overall total or is it looked at for each recurring service?
Q5b - Will the 80% standard for number of participants and number of Class/groups completed be looked at in total or by each individual school?

A - The 80% standard for the number of participants applies to the total and to each service. Both the number of participants and the number of class/groups will be looked at as a total, not by each individual school.

Q6 - If you add additional class/groups of an EBP, e.g., add 3 class/groups for a total of 6 class/groups and don't do a Workplan revision, will this affect the 80% standard for planned services to be delivered?

A - It won't negatively impact the 80%.

Q7 - In some EBPs there are no set numbers of lessons that have to be done. Is this going to matter?

A - The performance standards for EBPs are for recurring programs with a set number of sessions. EBPs with no set number of lessons will be held to 80% of the number of sessions identified at the time of initiation.

Q8 - If staff are on extended sick leave or have left the job, will there be any special considerations?

A - That is one reason why the 80% standard was selected and not 100% expectation. It is also important to communicate those issues to your OASAS program manager when they arise.

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Workplan Revisions:

Q1 - Do we have to revise our current approved 2012 Workplan to meet the 2012 guidelines?

A - No. However, OASAS staff will be using the 2012 Prevention Guidelines when reviewing your 2013 Workplans, and in providing TA throughout the year to assist you in meeting the requirements.

Q2a- If you do more Single Session Continuing activities than planned should you revise the Workplan to reallocate the FTEs?
Q2b - If you end up delivering more EBPs class/groups (of the same EBP) than planned, should you do a Workplan revision?

A - No Workplan revision is necessary for either situation unless it significantly impacts your other planned services. Significant changes in planned services should involve a discussion with your program manager and your prevention liaison. For more information refer to the PARIS Knowledge Base/2013 Workplan-Related Links/Guidance for Workplan Revisions.

Q3 - If we have 2 EBPs in the Workplan but decide only to do one of them, and do more class/groups of that EBP than planned, should we do a revision?

A - Yes. Otherwise, the EBP that you've dropped will still be in your Workplan and will show 0% for the 80% planned vs. completed standard. You should also let your OASAS program manager know about your need and reason to revise your Workplan. For more information refer to the PARIS Knowledge Base/2013 Workplan-Related Links/Guidance for Workplan Revisions.

Q4 - Sometimes we are working with a new coalition and spend months assessing their capacity and the community's readiness to change only to find that it won't work at this time. Do we revise the Workplan and drop that community from our Workplan?

A - A revision is not necessary, but you should discuss this with your program manager and your prevention liaison. For more information refer to the PARIS Knowledge Base/2013 Workplan-Related Links/Guidance for Workplan Revisions.

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Environmental Strategies:

Q1 - Why do the Environmental Strategies in PARIS not match the ones listed in the 2012 Prevention Guidelines, Appendix H Environmental Strategies Research Evidence-base Rating Table?

A - Appendix H is meant to show research results on the strengths of evidence on certain environmental strategies and activities. The categories of the environmental strategies (policy, enforcement, media) are the same as in PARIS, but not all of the activities listed in Appendix H appear in PARIS as they are not activities that OASAS funded providers would be able to implement.

Q2 - If there is a Media/Communication Environmental strategy, does it need to be linked to an Enforcement or Policy strategy? We are trying to change the social norms of the parents and others that it is not OK for underage youth to drink. We attempt to do this through various media approaches, but it is not really linked to a policy or enforcement strategy. Would that media approach be classified as an EBP?

A - The performance standards for the delivery of environmental strategies include the requirement that the media/communications strategies must support a policy change strategy or an enforcement strategy (page 14 of the 2012 Prevention Guidelines), as the research shows that disseminating information to raise awareness of a problem behavior alone is not sufficient to change that behavior. Currently PARIS allows a provider to select any environmental activity as a "stand-alone" and be recognized as an EBP. Based on the current research, OASAS is moving toward only allowing EBP credit for environmental strategies that are mutually supportive and reinforcing (as described on page 7 of the Guidelines). In the future, choosing media activities in isolation will still be allowed, but will be reported and counted in the Information & Awareness category as Single Session Activities. (See: PARIS Knowledge Base/ PARIS Library-WP Service Approach/Activity Codes & Definitions/Information Dissemination)

Q3 - Many Environmental Strategies take a long time before there are any results to show. Is there a way of showing progress along the way?

A - Changes are being made to the data collection screens to allow you to show progress on the strategies.

Q4 - How can we capture and report on environmental strategies in PARIS now to reflect the new standard in the guidelines?

A - Until new service approach screens and the coalition module are added to PARIS, you will continue to enter your information as you've been doing. You should be using the text boxes to show the connections between your selected environmental strategies and activities.

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Staffing Requirements:

Q1 - Regarding Prevention Staffing Requirements, page 22: under the "Qualifications that satisfy the staffing requirements", item c), is the 60 hours of prevention-specific education and training a one-time requirement or renewable?

A - It is currently a one-time requirement.

Q2 - If a staff person is going to take the CPP or CPS can they be counted in the CPP/CPS section?

A - No, but this can be communicated in the comment section that the staff member is going to take the exam.

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Monthly Data Reporting:

Q1 - Why do providers have to input their data by the 15th of the following month? Why can't we just be required to update our data quarterly or bi-annually? Some large providers implement numerous programs spanning multiple months, and this is very time-consuming.

A - A primary responsibility for an OASAS funded provider is to report on the activities that are supported by OASAS funds. OASAS needs data available in real time to meet multiple state and federal reporting deadlines. In addition, data quality is compromised when there is a significant time lapse between service delivery and reporting.

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Prevention Counseling:

Q1 - Why isn't "Academic Failure" on the list of risk factors for admission to
prevention counseling?

A - Academic Failure can be documented as a presenting problem during the assessment process, but is not a risk factor and reason for admission. It can be addressed by referral to another service.

Q2 - Why is "Early initiation of the problem behavior" only for grades K-5?

A - While it is true that youth onset of conduct problems can happen any time, it is also true that teens with behavior problems (truancy, lying, stealing, fighting) are more likely to also be concurrently using substances. Conversely, teens who use substances also are more likely to have behavior problems. The references that we commonly use regarding the risk factor "Early and persistent problem behavior" are for youth grades K-3, as referenced in the Hawkins and Catalano's research on risk and protective factors. We believe that in terms of primary prevention, it is more effective to address all the K-5 behavior issues you can, rather than waiting until middle or high school. Our intent is to keep the (K-5) as is for best practice guidance. PARIS will allow use of the Risk factor for K-12, so anyone can use it at any time, but the Risk factor K-5 parenthetical label will send the message that OASAS thinks it is more effective if you serve K-5 for conduct problems.

Q3 - What if your Prevention Counseling certification has expired?

A - If you have been certified to provide prevention counseling and your certification has expired, you can continue to provide prevention counseling services until OASAS takes action to renew certifications. OASAS will notify you when this will happen.
If you have not been certified to provide prevention counseling previously by OASAS, you may not add that service approach until OASAS has reinstated the certification process. Again, you will be notified when this will happen.

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EBP Requirements and EBP Panel:

Q1 - Regarding Special Populations, such as the Deaf population, will OASAS be providing us with a waiver since there are no EBPs for this population? Also, are we allowed to work with adults in this population (provide services otherwise not provided for this population, including recovery issues)?

A - There will be no waiver, but you can apply to the EBP Panel for Innovative/Special Population status. See the PARIS Knowledge Base for application instructions. Also, the focus of OASAS prevention services is the youth population (5-20 years old), not adults.

Q2 - Can we submit a program for review by the EBP review panel that addresses gangs and substance abuse?

A - Yes, because it also addresses substance abuse. You should refer to the "REPS Policy and Procedures" document, found under the "New EBPS Application and Procedures" link in the PARIS Knowledge module.

Q3 - If new EBP programs developed by a provider are added to the drop-down list in PARIS, can we also get their contact information so we can request (or pay them for) their new EBP?

A - Yes, we will post that information in the PARIS Knowledge Base.

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Moving to School Year Workplan Cycle:

Q1 - How will changing the Workplan to the School Year calendar affect the Budget Cycle?

A - The budget cycle will remain on the calendar year cycle.