The March 2021 edition of the Policy Research Associates monthly newsletter included announcements, publications, and the latest posts from the PRA blog.

This newsletter contained the following headlines:

  • Introducing Policy Research Associates’ Refined and Expanded Values and Guiding Principles
  • Publication Rerelease: Practical Advice on Jail Diversion
  • NCYOJ Joint Release with CHDI: Children’s Behavioral Health and Implementation of the School Responder Model
  • Article with PRA Author Selected for Psychiatric Services’ Editor’s Choice
  • Open Solicitations Roundup

Policy Research Associates was formed in 1987 in the spirit of the mission “Creating positive social change for people and communities through technical assistance, research, and training.” In 2020 we decided to expound on our established values of “Doing good work, at a fun place, with a hardworking bunch, to make an impact.” This values message highlighted our company culture and lightly touched on what we bring to our work, but it did not capture the full breadth of how we operate. In concert, we decided to state our guiding principles so that our partners, collaborators, and employees know exactly what we stand for and how we approach our work. Developing a comprehensive set of values and guiding principles took many iterations and much thoughtful input from an inclusive group of PRA staff. After many rounds of review, deliberate discussion, editing, and internal comment to integrate and honor a wide range of perspectives, we are proud to release our values and guiding principles to the field.

PRA is rereleasing Practical Advice on Jail Diversion to the field as a reference document. Originally published in 2007, this resource offers actionable information on what jail diversion is, why it makes sense as an approach to reducing the over-incarceration of people with behavioral health needs, and how to adopt or adapt a program for the local landscape. Professionals in the criminal justice and behavioral health fields and interested community members can use this resource to learn to design, plan, implement, and evaluate a successful jail diversion program.

The National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice (NCYOJ) recently released a joint publication with the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc. (CHDI). Children’s Behavioral Health and Implementation of the School Responder Model is intended to help schools and communities meet the behavioral health needs of students while reducing youth involvement in the juvenile justice system. The publication offers information on implementing a school responder model (SRM) as part of a multi-tiered system of support.

This month, Psychiatric Services assembled the Homelessness, Part 1 collection for its Editor’s Choice series. The collection highlighted the article “An Evaluation of SOAR: Implementation and Outcomes of an Effort to Improve Access to SSI and SSDI,” with contributing author PRA Vice President Kristin Lupfer, M.S.W., and co-authors Jacqueline Kauff, M.S.W.; Elizabeth Clary, M.A.; and Pamela Fischer, Ph.D. The article examines how technical assistance (TA) from the SAMHSA SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) TA Center influences the outcomes of SSI/SSDI application processes.

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This resource was first shared in 2021.

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