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Harrisburg, PA - Today, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) in collaboration with Penn State’s Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Support (EPIS) project, announced the launch of the Prevention Learning Portal. This new tool will help service providers and practitioners gain a deeper understanding of evidence-based prevention programs and expand prevention and intervention practices across the Commonwealth.
“We know that early prevention efforts to identify youth, family, and school risk factors can keep them from becoming challenges across our communities,” said PCCD Executive Director Mike Pennington. “By addressing risk factors and promoting protective factors for youth early in their lives, we can prevent delinquency and the development of mental health and substance use disorders, violence, and other concerns.”
The portal serves as a one-stop-shop offering prevention resources, training, and self-paced learning programs. All eLearning courses available through the platform are free and have been developed by experts with significant experience in providing technical assistance to communities in the field of prevention. Courses currently available include: Upstream Prevention; Implementation Science; Understanding Risk and Protective Factors; Youth Engagement Parts 1 and 2; Project Management, and S.M.A.R.T Goals. Professionals may also use courses toward credits for professional development training hours.
“The new Prevention Learning Portal is truly an asset for providers at the community-level who are working to decrease the conditions that are shown by research to contribute to youth substance use, delinquency and other problem behaviors,” Kelly Canally, MSS, MLSP, Chief Executive Officer at Family Services of Montgomery County. “By equipping prevention providers with essential knowledge, skills, tools and supports, PCCD and EPIS are positioning communities to implement successful strategies that will reduce the tragedies of youth drug use and other problem behaviors which will pay dividends in human and financial benefits for Pennsylvanians well into the future.”
The Prevention Learning Portal is made possible through grant funding from PCCD, awarded to the EPIS project in the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC) at The Pennsylvania State University. EPIS is a leader in translating prevention science to practice by connecting research, policy and real-world practice to improve outcomes for children and families across Pennsylvania.
“The goal of the PLP is to help communities with decision-making about intervention and prevention strategies, and to support high quality program implementation, because this yields the best results for youth, families, and communities,” said EPIS Principal Investigator, Dr. Janet Welsh. “With this new tool, we hope to have broad reach into multiple sectors and to develop new resources based on stakeholder needs and feedback.”
For decades, PCCD has invested in proven prevention programs to better the lives of Pennsylvania youth, strengthen families and communities, and save taxpayer dollars.
In 2022, more than 7,700 youth were served through PCCD-funded programs, some of which include: Communities That Care (CTC), Incredible Years, Strengthening Families Program, Life Skills Training Program, and Project Toward No Drug Abuse. Findings from school districts utilizing the CTC model alone over a ten year span show a consistent positive impact on a range of outcomes for kids, including a 15 percent reduction in alcohol use and illegal drug sales,17 percent reduction in cigarette use, and 13 percent reduction in arrests.
For more information on proven prevention models, visit the EPIS website.
To learn more about the Prevention Learning Portal visit the portal.
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