Evidence-Based Programs

Pennsylvania has purposefully chosen to invest in disseminating proven effective evidence based programs targeting youth problems such as violence, delinquency, substance use, and school failure.

What do we mean when we say a program is evidence based?  This one page resource explains what we mean when we refer to a program as evidence-based. The menu of evidence-based programs listed below have each undergone rigorous evaluation and been recognized as effective by federal and state agencies and prevention science organizations. These programs have been shown to be effective in preventing and reducing delinquency and promoting positive youth development.  

Before choosing programs to implement, agencies and coalitions examine the risk and protective factors underlying the problems they wish to target in their community. This matrix shows the risk and protective factors addressed by each of the programs supported by the EPISCenter.

    • Familias Fuertes

      • Community-based prevention program for Spanish-speaking parents/caregivers and their youth
      • Target ages 10-14
      • This is the Spanish adaptation of SFP 10-14

    • Functional Family Therapy

      • Short-term family-based treatment intervention program
      • For youth with moderate to severe anti-social and behavioral problems and at-risk for delinquency
      • Target ages 10-18

    • LifeSkills Training Program

      • Middle School-based universal prevention curriculum
      • Promotes social emotional learning to prevent adolescent tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use, and violence
      • Target grades 6 through 9, depending on school structure

    • Multisystemic Therapy

      • Intensive family and community-based treatment intervention program
      • For youth with serious anti-social and behavioral problems, and at risk for delinquency
      • Target ages 12-17

    • Olweus Bullying Prevention Program

      • School climate focused universal prevention program
      • Designed to reduce and prevent school bullying through broad trainings of school staff and weekly class meetings
      • Target grades Elementary, Middle, and High School

    • Positive Action

      • School-based universal prevention curriculum
      • Improves school climate and decreases youth problem behavior through Thoughts-Actions-Feelings Circle
      • Target grades K-8 (elementary and middle school)

    • Positive Parenting Program

      • Family-based prevention/intervention program for parents/caregivers
      • Comprehensive program with five (5) separate levels of intervention
      • Target ages birth-16

    • Project Towards No Drug Abuse

      • High School-based universal prevention curriculum
      • Improves youth knowledge, corrects misperceptions, and builds SEL skills to prevent youth substance use and violence
      • Target ages 14-19

    • Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies

      • Pre-school and Elementary School-based universal prevention program
      • Reduces aggression and behavior problems though classroom based social emotional learning lessons
      • Target grades Pre-K to 5/6

    • Strong African American Families

      • Community-based prevention program for parents/caregivers and their youth
      • Culturally sensitive curriculum for African-American families
      • Target ages 10-14

    • The Incredible Years

      • Basic Parent Training – a prevention/intervention program for parents of children ages 3-12
      • Advance Parent Training – a follow-up prevention program from the Basic Parent Training
      • Dina Classroom – school-based prevention program for children ages 3-8
      • Small Group – school or community-based intervention program for children ages 4-8