Massachusetts is a diverse state, and CSPS is committed to helping each of our funded communities identify the optimal solutions to the unique substance misuse problems they face. To do this, we pair each community with a designated CSPS TA liaison who serves as the community’s main point of contact through the lifetime of their grants. This one-on-one collaborative approach helps liaisons develop a nuanced understanding of community needs, resources, and dynamics; and prepares them to deliver the individualized supports communities need to achieve their identified prevention outcomes. Communities can also access the expertise of the broader CSPS team, as needed, for additional supports.
Specifically, our services include:
- Individualized TA. Throughout the grant period, TA liaisons meet monthly with their assigned coalition coordinators—assessing and prioritizing needs, developing action plans and timelines, and identifying CSPS staff and consultants to deliver identified services.
- Expert consultant services. A team of CSPS consultants are available to provide communities with in-depth, focused support on specific areas of prevention, such as evaluation, cultural and linguistic responsiveness, and sustainability planning. Many of our consultants also have first-hand knowledge of specific Massachusetts regions and communities.
- Online learning events. CSPS offers regular distance learning events where experts and grantees share information, best practices, and the latest prevention research. Our virtual events are designed to be useful and engaging, with plenty of opportunity for participation.
- Peer-to-peer learning. CSPS recognizes the value of communities learning from one another. To support cross-sharing, CSPS convenes regular peer sharing opportunities where grantees can connect to explore common needs and issues.
- Website: The new CSPS website serves as a one-stop platform for finding out about upcoming events and accessing current resources to support substance misuse prevention efforts.
Types of TA
TA offers communities the one-on-one supports they need to understand and implement effective and appropriate prevention approaches. In contrast to trainings, TA is designed to incrementally build the capacity of coordinators to move their prevention efforts forward and achieve their unique prevention goals.
For CSPS TA liaisons, this means working closely with their assigned communities to assess prevention needs, troubleshoot problems, identify creative solutions, and provide a sounding board for new ideas. Here are some areas of capacity-building that CSPS liaisons routinely provide:
- Survey review, such as identifying indicators that align with community prevention priorities
- Partnership development and maintenance
- Coalition-building, including review of coalition roles, responsibilities, and functioning.
- Communications planning and support, including message development and campaign implementation
- Sustainability planning support
- Cultural and linguistic responsiveness, including strategies for identifying and addressing health disparities
The examples above are in no way exhaustive. Coalition coordinators work closely with their assigned TA liaison to develop a menu of services that are the right fit, given their prevention needs.