Prevention science addresses individual and societal problems before they develop and encourages a wellness approach to positive childhood, adolescent, family, and community outcomes. Employing this approach, FRONTIER will lead efforts to inform decision makers as to what practices are most effective and cost beneficial to ensure that all children and adolescents have an opportunity to lead healthy and successful lives. Applying a prevention mentality, FRONTIER will focus on several areas of concern, such as mental and behavioral health, racial equity, education, poverty, juvenile and criminal justice, environmental influences, and adverse social conditions that contribute to major behavioral, mental, and chronic physical health problems that originate in childhood and become compounded in adulthood.
Evidence generated by prevention science, neuroscience, developmental psychology, education, epidemiology, and other related fields should be used to inform educational, mental health, and public health policy decision-making. FRONTIER creates channels for communicating with policymakers (e.g. written materials including policy briefs, fact sheets, and white papers; and interpersonal interactions such as congressional and state-level briefings, in-person meetings) about cross-cutting research and best practices generated by FRONTIER members.
By sharing this knowledge with policymakers, we hope that our research will have a significant and lasting impact on child development, family functioning, and community scaffolding. Ultimately, this will be accomplished through the uptake of policies that enable wide-scale adoption and implementation of effective practices by community and child/adolescent-serving systems such as education, child welfare, juvenile justice, and health care.
FRONTIER will support the activities of FPG’s Policy Division, directed by Dr. Sandra Hong. Mutual goals are to translate and communicate scientific findings to inform effective federal, state and local policies with potential to exert population level effects. This collaboration will facilitate our ability to respond rapidly to the needs of policymakers in areas where research has clearly established linkages between the quality of our children’s environment and experiences with later mental, behavioral and physical health outcomes.
The National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives is a large professional organization, founded and directed by Diana (Denni) Fishbein, PhD, devoted to translating the existing body of scientific knowledge into effective and sustainable practices, systems and policies. At present, there are nearly 1,000 members with expertise across the prevention spectrum and about 70 national organizational affiliates. NPSC organizes congressional briefings, writes white papers, position statements, fact sheets, and op-eds. The coalition works closely with members of congress, state legislative offices, and agency administrators to increase awareness of the value of prevention science and to promote the adoption of evidence-based prevention strategies. For more information, visit their website: www.npscoalition.org.
Opioid Use Prevention Resources
- FRONTIER‘s policy brief outlines the issues and risk factors contributing to substance use in youth, the importance of primary prevention and early intervention, and the potential of an evidence-based integrated system of services to prevent or reduce opioid and substance use. https://frontier.fpg.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/National-Brief-EBPs-and-Infrastructure-Supports-FINAL-5.18.22-3.pdf
- This brief from the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives discusses a comprehensive national strategy to prevent opioid use disorders. https://frontier.fpg.unc.edu/wp-content/uploads/ONDCP-Opioid-Policy-Brief-1-29-22-3.pdf
- Health Affairs focuses on teens and young adults in addressing the opioid epidemic. The Opioid Epidemic: A Needed Focus On Adolescents And Young Adults”, Health Affairs Blog, November 21, 2019. DOI: 10.1377/hblog20191115.977344
- The National Association of Counties (NACo), serving nearly 40,000 county elected officials and 3.6 million county employees, is the only national organization that represents the 3069 county governments in the United States. NACo has established the Opioid Epidemic Resource Center to help guide counties evaluating their needs and deliberating about spending and as a resource for counties as they battle addiction in their communities. https://www.naco.org/resources/opioid-epidemic-action-center
- The Brandeis Opioid Resource Connector (BORC) provides a curated collection of community-based programs and resources to assist communities in prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery from opioid use. https://heller.brandeis.edu/opioid-policy/community-resources/borc/index.html
- The Bloomberg American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health includes evidence-based policy and public health strategies to prevent addiction, address structural inequities, promote harm reduction strategies, and boost access to effective treatment. https://americanhealth.jhu.edu/focus-area/addiction-and-overdose
- Applied Prevention Science International is a not-for-profit organization specializing in promoting prevention science and its application to substance use prevention services in the community, and offers technical assistance, strategic planning consultation, evaluation and workshops to community organizations. https://www.apsintl.org/services
- ADAPT (A Division for Advancing Prevention and Treatment) works in High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) to support successful integration of substance use prevention strategies, informed by the best available evidence, into communities. https://www.hidta.org/adapt/
The next frontier in evidence-based policymaking: The science of scaling
Carving a Path to Science Advocacy and Policy
In this interview with Dr. Bankston, we learn about her career path to science policy and advocacy, the skills she still uses from her Ph.D. training and how you can make the transition.
Have you ever thought about pursuing a science policy career? Are you wondering how to make the transition? What skills do you need? Dr. Adriana Bankston transitioned from bench research to a Principal Legislative Analyst at the University of California (UC) in the Office of Federal Governmental Relations in Washington, D.C. The Policy and Advocacy Fellowship at the Society for Neuroscience launched her career in this field.
Carving a Path to Science Advocacy and Policy – SFM
NIH Funding Process
NIH funded research has led to breakthroughs and new treatments, helping people live longer, healthier lives, and building the research foundation that drives discovery. Read on for an orientation to NIH funding, grant programs, how the grants process works, and how to apply. https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/parent_announcements.htm#train
Policy Development and Advocacy Workbook
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that responds to the aspirations of people around the world to live in democratic societies that recognize and promote basic human rights. Since its founding in 1983, NDI and its local partners have worked to support and strengthen democratic institutions and practices by strengthening political parties, civic organizations and parliaments, safeguarding elections, and promoting citizen participation, openness and accountability in government
Policy Development and Advocacy Workbook – NDI.
Scholars Strategy Network
Training researchers to inform policy. Participants will learn how to become a trust resource to policymakers and civic leaders, identify opportunities when your research can have the greatest impact on policy, choose policy-relevant research questions, combine rigor and impact, and be an effective public scholar in a politicized era.
Science Advocacy for Therapists
A Researcher Goes to Capitol Hill, Susan S. Woodhouse, Ph.D
This website has useful information about the need to advocate for science, practical information about various ways you can engage in science advocacy, as well as links to sign up for advocacy alerts that can help you better understand key issues that have arisen and would benefit from a timely response. The Toolkit has information on everything from how to present your message to how to contact your representatives in Congress to how to make a visit to Capitol Hill to advocate for science in person.
Science Advocacy for Therapists – SfPT