• By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Thursday 08th April, 2010

Building from Blueprints in San Antonio

It has been two years since the Blueprints for Violence Prevention hosted its last meeting in Denver. This year Prevention Action travels to San Antonio, Texas, to catch up with the latest developments. Over 700 delegates from ten countries include policy makers, practitioners and prevention scientists, who together are creating a unique and challenging context for the exchange of ideas, experience and learning. As with previous Blueprints conferences (including the 2008 meeting covered in a special edition of Prevention Action) those programs attaining the status of ‘model’ and ‘promising’ programs are well represented. For those wanting to engage with the logic and efficacy of a range of evidence-based interventions this is the place to be.But what’s new? This year's line-up represents a concerted shift from not only pushing for the adoption of evidence-based programs (the conference is largely preaching to the converted) but also better understanding the challenges inherent in the faithful implementation of these programs within systems and communities. To this end, the conference will open with an all-star cast of prevention pioneers, including the founder of the Blueprints for Violence Prevention, and the architects of six of the 11 model programs, who will reflect on the struggles and triumphs of the last decade in order to help pave the way for the next. Subsequent sessions then tackle some of the thornier issues in the implementation of evidence-based programs. For example, if model parenting programs are so good why is it often so hard to recruit the parents? How do you move beyond programs merely being unsustainable alternatives to existing practice towards embedded services that are integral to systems? And how do you develop a workforce of trained competent staff to underpin the scale-up of such programs?These questions and more will be the focus of the upcoming conference and coverage by Prevention Action over the next few days.

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