Model Programs Implementation Guides
  • Practical Implementation Planning Resources for Practitioners

    puzzle piecesThe Model Programs Guide (MPG) provides policymakers and practitioners with valuable information about evidence-based juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and reentry programs and practices. The new I-Guides (short for Implementation Guides) expand on this by providing MPG users with information on 10 steps that should be taken in the pre-implementation stage (that is, before identifying or implementing an evidence-based program or practice).

    The 10 steps are based on the research literature about successful implementation efforts and applied to common problems in juvenile justice and related fields. The I-Guides offer communities tips and action-oriented recommendations to better understand the problems they are facing, identify the best solutions, and lay the groundwork to help promote successful implementation of those solutions. One of the many benefits of the I-Guides is the variety of information that can be used by anyone at any point in this process.

    Browse the I-Guides
  • The Categories and Steps of the I-Guides

    The 10 steps (described here) are consistent across the I-Guides. They were created based on the implementation science research literature with input from policymakers and practitioners. (See: Research Basis). Although the I-Guides do not suggest a set order for preparing to implement programs or practices, the 10 steps are organized into three general categories: Start, Support, and Secure. Each component includes an introduction, recommended steps to take, examples from successfully implemented MPG programs, and additional resources.

    Three categories
    These components relate to building a solid foundation before implementing an evidence-based intervention.
    These components assist with putting a program or practice into place.
    These components relate to stabilizing and sustaining the program or practice within the community or jurisdiction.
    • Start

      These components relate to building a solid foundation before implementing an evidence-based intervention.

      Establish Clear Program Goals

      Determine the outcomes you want to achieve. Define the metrics and data you will use to track performance, aid improvement, and measure results.

      Conduct a Needs Assessment

      Gather background information to learn about specific problems or gaps in programming related to what you want to accomplish. You may decide to conduct interviews, focus groups, or surveys of certain individuals or a community. Gaining a better understanding about what is going on will help you to:

      • define desired results;
      • set priorities;
      • identify the resources available to improve or enhance services already available.
      Supportive Research

      Learn about the variety of programs and practices that address the change you are trying to realize.

      Get Stakeholder Buy-In

      Engage and earn support from those who will be involved in or affected by the implementation of a new program or practice, such as service providers, other agency staff, youth and families, community members, policymakers, and other leaders.

      Identify Specific Jurisdictional Issues

      Consider important characteristics of the jurisdiction or community that may affect implementation, such as setting (urban, suburban, rural), specific populations, political considerations, moral philosophies of stakeholders, and available resources.

    • Support

      These components assist with putting a program or practice into place.

      Procure Funding

      Develop a feasible funding plan that considers public and private funding and other financing. Consider the real costs of operations even when they are supported by participating organizations or partners, including marketing, staff release time, start-up costs, and overhead.

      Provide Program Training

      Provide training to individuals involved with implementing a program as designed (or adapted). Trained individuals may in turn train others involved in implementation, which may help build internal capacity and ensure sustainability of a program.

      Address Adaptation as Needed

      Modify a program or practice model to fit the community’s specific needs while maintaining fidelity to the model. Consider the possibility of implementing specific program components instead of a whole program.

    • Secure

      These components relate to stabilizing and sustaining the program or practice within the community or jurisdiction.

      Handle Unanticipated Problems or Setbacks

      Consider challenges or setbacks that may arise during implementation. Often, issues arise that are not considered or anticipated ahead of time. Establish a reporting or feedback process to help decision-makers learn from experience.

      Ensure Long-term Sustainability

      Even before implementing a program, it is important to consider how to maintain the program in the long run. Keep in mind the continuation of funding, ongoing training, capacity building, and scaling up effective programs.

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  • I-Guide Topics

    Each I-Guide focuses on a specific problem related to juvenile justice, delinquency prevention, or child protection and safety. The I-Guides are based on information about programs and practices that have had positive impacts on youth.

    Each I-Guide also has an accompanying literature review from the MPG and a practice profile from

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  • Browse the I-Guides

  • Creation of an I-Guide

    Visit the Creation of an I-Guide page for details about how I-Guides are developed.

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1Minimum standards for review: The program must be evaluated with at least one randomized field experiment or a quasi-experimental research design (with a comparison condition); the outcomes assessed must relate to crime, delinquency, or victimization prevention, intervention, or response; the evaluation(s) must be published in a peer-reviewed publication or documented in a comprehensive evaluation report; and the year of publication must be 1980 or after.