In May 2000, the legislature passed the “Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment Services for Children and Youth Act” (HB00-1342). The overall purpose of the legislation was to create a more unified, effective and efficient approach to the delivery of state and federally funded prevention, intervention and treatment services for children and youth in Colorado. The legislation created the Prevention Services Division within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and charged it with overall implementation of the legislation. One of the requirements in the legislation is the development and adoption of uniform, minimum standards for all state and federally funded prevention and intervention programs for children and youth, including 40+ programs currently operated/funded by the state Departments of Education, Human Services, Public Health and Environment, Public Safety and Transportation.
The intent of this requirement in the legislation is create more uniform language and common expectations across state and local prevention/intervention programs; and to ensure the provision of high quality prevention and intervention services throughout the state. The following standards are specified in the legislation:
That programs provide research-based services that have been implemented in one or more communities with demonstrated success or that otherwise demonstrate a reasonable potential for success;
that programs provide outcome-based services, specifying the outcomes to be achieved; and
that programs work collaboratively with other public and private programs in the community.
The State Board of Health (BOH) has the authority to create/adopt additional standards, as needed, to enhance the quality of prevention and intervention services throughout the state.
Definitions adopted by the State Board of Health in May 2001. Prevention services means proactive, interdisciplinary efforts to empower individuals to choose and maintain healthy life behaviors and lifestyles, thus fostering an environment that encourages law-abiding and non-troubled behavior. Intervention services means proactive efforts to intervene at early signs of problems to stop disease, reduce risks and to change problem behaviors.
Although the creation of standards is required by legislation, this process, in fact, provides an opportunity for state agencies and local service providers to develop consensus regarding standards for prevention and intervention programs; to assess our strengths and areas for growth; to identify and disseminate information on programs that meet and exceed standards; and to chart a course for sustaining and enhancing the quality of prevention and intervention programs and services throughout Colorado.
Interagency Prevention Services
Prevention Services Division
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, A-4
Denver, CO 80246
Phone: 303- 692-2421
To meet statutory obligations outlined in the legislation, the Interagency Prevention Systems Project at CDPHE works with prevention and intervention programs/staff from the Departments of Education, Human Services, Public Health and Environment, Public Safety, and Transportation, and is focused on the following:
A web accessible Prevention Resource Database which provides information to local communities on over 35+ state/federal programs and funding sources and lists over 600 local prevention and intervention programs in communities across the state.
The coordination and streamlining of data collection and needs assessment in local communities. Five state agencies worked collaboratively to develop a Combined Adolescent Health Survey that gathers crucial health risk information in a more effective, streamlined process.
A "Best Practices" website which contains information on over 200 effective, evidence-based prevention programs. The website links state and local prevention service providers to state-of-the-art research, practices and resources in a range of topic areas such as: violence prevention, positive parenting, injury prevention, childhood obesity, access to health care etc.
Development of joint Uniform, Minimum Standards for prevention and intervention programs for children and youth. The standards will help assure accountability and promote a high level of quality among state and federally funded programs.
A four-year review of all state and federally-funded prevention and intervention programs for children and youth. The purpose of the review is to determine whether programs are meeting their intended goals and outcomes and to identify program strengths and areas for improvement.
Plans are underway to provide Prevention training and workforce development and support to enhance the skills of local prevention service providers in various regions of the state.
The Prevention Leadership Council — comprised of representatives from the Departments of Education, Human Services, Public Health and Environment, Public Safety and Transportation — has played a key role in the the activities and accomplishments outlined above. This interagency group meets regularly to coordinate and streamline state processes, to promote resource sharing/joint projects across state agencies, and to promote high quality prevention and intervention programs for children youth and families throughout Colorado.
On a biannual basis, Interagency Prevention Systems Project staff, with input from local communities, reviews and revises the State Plan for Prevention and Intervention Services for Children and Youth.
The Interagency Prevention System plays an important role in streamlining state processes, reducing duplication and creating efficiencies by sharing of resources across state programs and agencies.
The Colorado Prevention Leadership Council (PLC) - which is comprised of representatives across five state agencies, two institutions of higher education, and statewide resource organizations - convened a Uniform, Minimum Standards Task Force to develop recommended standards. The Task Force reviewed criteria/standards used by existing prevention/intervention programs in Colorado; and identified eight areas considered critical to the development and implementation of quality programs, including: clear problem statement, focus on contributing factors, identified service population, intended outcomes, evidence-based services, evaluation, agency capacity and collaboration. Proposed uniform, minimum standards were written in each of these eight areas. Once this refinement process is complete, the BOH will review the proposed standards which, if approved/adopted, will become state regulation.
Colorado has more than 36 state and federally funded programs which provide and/or fund prevention and early intervention services for children and youth. These programs provide a range of services designed to help children and youth avoid problem behaviors and choose healthy lifestyles. Examples of programs and services include: nutrition education, parenting classes, youth mentoring, safe and drug free school programs, suicide and injury prevention, family advocacy programs and many more. Specific programs are listed below. These files contain program descriptions as well as information on funding available for local programs.
Department of Education
Department of Human Services
Department of Public Health and Environment
Department of Public Safety
Department of Transportation
Mission: To build a cross-agency prevention work force development system, based on research, that will promote continuous quality improvement for all Colorado prevention/intervention policies, planning, programs, and practices.
Note: Programs may require additional specific sets of skills/knowledge related to their particular intervention (e.g. addiction training, nutrition expertise or training in infant seat restraints). It is expected that specific programs would provide training/skill development in these areas.
* The Prevention Leadership Council is a state-level, interagency group committed to coordinating and streamlining state processes, and enhancing the quality and accessibility of prevention and intervention services for children and youth in Colorado. Membership includes the Departments of Education, Human Services, Public Health and Environment, Public Safety and Transportation, UCHSC, CSU and statewide prevention resource organizations.
The Uniform, Minimum Standards will be used to conduct a review of the 40+ state level programs that operate and/or fund prevention and intervention services – to determine the extent to which the state-level program meet the uniform, minimum standards and the extent to which they support and require local grantees to meet the standards. This review, which will be completed by June 2004, will provide an overall status assessment of prevention/intervention efforts across state agencies. It is expected that this process will provide validation for many programs that meet or exceed standards; and will identify some areas for improvement at both the state and local level. Once established, it is expected that the standards will become part of RFP processes, be included in criteria for selecting grantees, and help guide the training/technical assistance provided to state and local programs.
Once the Uniform, Minimum Standards have been completed, it is expected that work will begin on Standards of Excellence. Although not required by legislation, Standards of Excellence adopted across programs and state agencies could provide important guidelines for self-assessment and encouragement for ongoing quality improvement of prevention and intervention programs across the state.