In 2013, the Board of Directors of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation approved a five-year strategy focused on developing and implementing substance use prevention and early intervention services for youth. As part of this strategy, three primary objectives for prevention and early intervention services were identified:
- Expand education and training
- Increase access and strengthen implementation
- Develop and disseminate knowledge
The Foundation’s investment in this Strategic Initiative has significantly increased the visibility and need for screening, early identification and intervention for issues related to youth substance use. The primary focus has been on the integration of screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) services into health and school health settings, while also making strategic targeted investments in nontraditional youth-focused settings that reach vulnerable youth, including workforce development programs for opportunity youth and community-based mental health clinics. This first phase of the Strategic Initiative was focused on feasibility – understanding if and how SBIRT frameworks can be effectively implemented for youth in both traditional and non-traditional settings. Through the Strategic Initiative, grantees have successfully implemented prevention and early intervention services and identified the ancillary issues surrounding youth substance use.