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The EPISCenterThe EPISCenter: History, Goals & Activities, Framework, Technical Assistance, and Data Reporting

The Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Support Center (EPISCenter) was established in 2008 as a component of the Resource Center for Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Programs and Practices. The EPISCenter, which is housed within the Prevention Research Center (PRC) at Penn State, is funded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) and the Office of Children, Youth, and Families.

Goals & Activities of the EPISCenter
The EPISCenter has the primary goal of advancing high quality implementation, impact assessment, and sustainability of a menu of evidence-based programs identified by the Resource Center, in order to maximize the positive impact for youth, families, and communities.

The Framework
The EPISCenter understands its partnership with state partners, local practitioners, and researchers using a conceptual model that builds upon the Interactive Systems Framework developed by Wandersman and colleagues. In this expanded model, the EPISCenter serves as the bridge between systems that conduct research and synthesize this knowledge into interventions (such as the Prevention Research Center); practitioners and providers that deliver services to youth and families; and the macro-system of funders and policy-makers (such as Pennsylvania’s Resource Center Steering Committee). Thus, the EPISCenter plays a fundamental role in connecting science to policy and practice, by utilizing the most current research when providing technical assistance to providers and facilitating the use of input from researchers and practitioners to guide policy and funding decisions.

Figure 1. Conceptual model for the EPISCenter.
Conceptual Model of EPIS

Technical Assistance for Evidence-based Interventions
During its first four years, the EPISCenter responded to almost 3,000 technical assistance (TA) requests and provided over 200 trainings in support of Communities That Care and the 11 evidence-based programs on its menu. Staff also conducted 400+ site visits and consultations to PCCD grantees, many culminating in formal TA plans. The EPISCenter website, which had over 27,000 visits from January 2010 to June 2012, has grown to include a large number of program-specific resources that can be accessed by communities and providers.

Download the full version of EPISCenter: History, Goals & Activities, Framework, Technical Assistance, and Data Reporting(Written in December 2012)

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