posted: April 13, 2016 10:20 am

Get IN Chicago’s position as a funder, measurement entity, and thought leader has given us insight into pressing issues faced by the Chicago nonprofit landscape.  In particular, our findings have shaped our Five Key Learnings, which we use to guide our strategy and investment.

As we move forward, Get IN Chicago’s commitment to funding and measuring evidence-based programs continues to be linked to capacity building.  A portion of our funding thus far has supported technical assistance for our grant recipients, supporting them to use best practices with the goal of reaching more youth with the most effective programs.

One of our Technical Assistance grant recipients, Lurie Children’s Hospital, recently shared some of their progress to date.  Keep reading to see what they’ve been up to, and check back soon for more updates from other technical assistance providers!

Lurie Children’s Hospital
Grant Recipient – Technical Assistance

“The Lurie technical assistance program for the Get IN Chicago CBT grantees has focused broadly on developing evidence-informed implementation practices for cognitive-behavioral interventions targeting trauma, aggression, and substance use. The goal of the technical assistance activities has been to prepare CBOs to participate in research evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. The CBOs involved in the technical assistance program are implementing diverse interventions (e.g., substance abuse interventions, cognitive behavioral interventions for trauma exposure, hybrid behavioral interventions to address trauma and aggressive behaviors) and have varied level of experience implementing interventions using evidence-informed practices in school settings.

“To date, all of the CBOs have made gains in their knowledge and capacity for evidence-informed implementation. Currently, the lessons we have learned from the technical assistance program are related broadly to agency readiness for intervention implementation and adjusting to work in a new setting, such as a school.

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“Between November and January, our team completed three professional learning collaborative meetings and 33 site visits to the CBT grantee agencies. We also completed a two hour trauma training for the mentor agencies working with the Illinois Mentor Partnership on January 13, 2016.

“What follows are some – though certainly not all –  areas of our work with grant recipients over the past few months:

  • Student Recruitment – creating new tools and selection criteria for program participation to ensure that the right kids enroll
  • Program Content and Delivery – aligning programs with best practices for cognitive behavioral therapy, manualizing curricula to ensure that staff across the organization are implementing the same program, adapting programs to be effective in a school setting
  • Measurement and Outcomes – developing pre and post tests for programs, refining data collection procedures to improve CQI, and improving implementation processes and procedures to better monitor program fidelity
  • Staff Support – creating new opportunities for ongoing staff development, such as trauma training
  • Strengthening Partnerships – developing new communication strategies with teachers and administrators about students served, creating referral materials to facilitate appropriate student participation

“Each organization set many goals at the beginning of the year.  While we have made much progress so far, the Lurie team looks forward to continuing to work alongside the agencies to fulfill all of them.”

CBT PLC 9.9.15

Lurie Children’s Hospital is currently using a Get IN Chicago grant to provide support to six Get IN Chicago cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) grant recipients.  Through professional learning communities, training sessions, and site visits, Lurie works with grant recipients to implement and sustain best practices.