JDC Learning Collaborative ~ Introduction to the Project

The JDC Learning Collaborative sites will improve access to evidenced-based treatment and focus on the adoption of best practices, including 16 Strategies, through a step-by-step system improvement process based on the concepts of the Breakthrough Series Collaborative, The Model for Improvement, and NIATx Way. This process will help the JDCs bridge the gaps between best practices and actual practices through rigorous testing and evaluation.

The work with the JDC Learning Collaborative sites will be intensive in nature, with the bulk of the work being shouldered by the change team assembled by each court. Some changes may be implemented using a model of rapid-cycle change to quickly test change ideas on a small scale and in limited context, successful changes can then be spread further through the system. This will be a learning environment in which the sites will use data to determine if any changes made were an improvement or not. Project staff and faculty will work with each of the JDC Learning Collaborative sites to provide services which may include site visits, technical assistance, training, facilitating the court’s self-assessment process, strategic planning, and networking with other JDC Learning Collaborative sites.

Each JDC Learning Collaborative site will be required to use the GAIN-Q3, a multi-purpose assessment tool for basic assessment of a targeted population to determine eligibility and need for referral. It can also be used to support motivational interviewing related to substance abuse. The overall aim of the Q3 is to sort individual youth fairly quickly into three groups: a) those who do not appear to have problems in need of attention; b) those who appear to have mild problems that can be addressed with a brief intervention; and c) those whose results indicate the need for a more detailed assessment and/or specialized treatment. The purpose for this requirement is to collect more consistent data from the outset of the project in order to obtain results that can be compared between sites.

Each JDC Learning Collaborative site will be expected to participate in a process evaluation, which will document all activities related to the implementation of evidence-based practices. This process evaluation will include documentation of all activities, beginning with the application process through selection and implementation of an evidence-based intervention, as well as any training and/or technical assistance provided to the sites. In addition, data will be collected by conducting interviews with team members at each site, interviews with NCJFCJ staff (including trainers, providers of technical assistance, and senior staff involved in the selection of applicants and the coordination of training and TA activities), and focus groups conducted with representatives of each site.