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Strategic Prevention Framework Overview

The Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) changes SAMHSA’s approach to prevention, and helps move the vision of a Healthier US to State and community-based action. The SPF is built on a community-based risk and protective factors approach to prevention and a series of guiding principles that can be utilized at the federal, State/tribal and community levels.

Since 2006 Georgia has been employing the SPF in its substance abuse and violence prevention efforts. The five steps that comprise SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework will enable States and communities to build the infrastructure necessary for effective and sustainable prevention. Each step contains key milestones and products that are essential to the validity of the process. The SPF is conceived of in systemic terms and reflects a public health, or community-based, approach to delivering effective prevention.

The SPF requires States and communities to systematically:

  • Assess their prevention needs based on epidemiological data,
  • Build their prevention capacity,
  • Develop a strategic plan,
  • Implement effective community prevention programs, policies and practices, and
  • Evaluate their efforts for outcomes.

Step #1: Assessment
Assessment involves the collection of data to define problems within a geographic area. Assessment also involves mobilizing key stakeholders to collect the needed data and foster the SPF process.

Step #2: Capacity
Capacity involves the mobilization of resources within a geographic area (state/community). A key aspect of Capacity is convening key stakeholders, coalitions, and service providers to plan and implement sustainable efforts.

Step #3: Planning
Planning involves the development of a strategic plan that includes policies, programs, and practices that create a logical, data-driven plan to address the problems identified in Step 1 of the SPF.

Step #4: Implementation
Implementation involves taking action guided by the Strategic Plan created in Step 3 of the SPF. It includes the creation of an evaluation plan, and the ongoing monitoring of implementation fidelity

Step #5: Evaluation
Evaluation involves measuring the impact of the SPF and the implemented programs, policies, and practices. An important part of the process is identifying areas for improvement.