Collaboration. A word we use a lot at Reclaiming Futures. Why? Because based on our fifteen years of working in jurisdictions across the country, collaboration can be an impactful catalyst for change. While the National Office puts collaboration into action regularly it was recently visibly demonstrated.
As you may know, Reclaiming Futures is part of the Regional Research Institute (RRI) at Portland State University. We are affiliated with such efforts as the National Wraparound Initiative, The Center to Advance Racial Equity, and Pathways Transition Training Partnership (PTTP). A few months ago, Evan Elkin, Christa Myers and I began conversations with Drs. Eileen Brennan and Pauline Jivanjee of PTTP to develop a joint webinar. Both groups understand the importance of collaboration between stakeholders in juvenile justice settings to improve the health and wellness of young people with substance use and/or mental health concerns. However, our focus for the webinar did not become immediately clear. We spent time examining our commonalities to decide the best topic for diverse fields and individuals (e.g., juvenile justice; behavioral health; community members). We decided to emphasize our respective work in the area of evidence-based practices.
To begin, here is a little about PTTP. PTTP was “developed to enhance the skills of service providers working with young people with serious mental health conditions and to provide information and tools for young people and their family members, service providers, researchers, and policy makers involved in developing and implementing effective transition-focused interventions, policies, and research.” One of the ways PTTP achieves this is by offering training and technical assistance is through free online training modules that address relevant topics such as engaging with youth and families, cultural responsiveness and intergenerational relationships, resiliency and developmental considerations.
During the planning, we discussed the importance of highlighting the PTTP training and technical assistance focusing on evidence-based practices and Reclaiming Futures approach and model including sharing our history, core assumptions, implementation approaches and recent evaluation findings. We also agreed that it was critical to make sure lived experience was heard. Hernan Carvente of the Vera Institute of Justice shared his experiences in the juvenile justice system and his recommendations for policy, program, and research.
On November 1, 2016, 529 individuals joined this webinar with almost half representing juvenile justice (49%). We were very pleased with the number of people who attended. We thank the numerous groups who promoted this webinar through their lists and social media. The sizable attendance rate is a recognition that evidence-based practices are of interest to various fields and communities. This calls for continued training and technical assistance.
If you missed it and have an hour, please check it out here. It will be well worth your time and may even prompt your interest in participating in the PTTP online training modules or (re)connecting with Reclaiming Futures about our current efforts.