Category Archives: Strategic Prevention Framework

SPF Series Kickoff: What It Is & Why We Use It

Give me an S…..S! Give me a P……P! Give me an F….F!

What does that spell?


You may be wondering – why all this commotion about “SPF?” What does it even mean?

Well, in the next few moments, we will try and answer that question for you!

041SPF stands for the Strategic Prevention Framework. The SPF is a model used to plan community level programs or projects. Community leaders, including state and federal prevention officers, use the SPF to help guide the strategies they use to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) use. This is also a great tool for Youth Action Teams to use when planning projects!

The SPF consists of 5 steps. Here’s a fun and easy way to remember all the steps of the SPF.


Think of it as the ABCs of the SPF PIE:


The first step of the SPF involves assessing your community’s needs by gathering and analyzing data to identify and address local problems and resources. By identifying the real needs of your community, you are able to plan programs and projects that are appropriate interventions and will actually make a difference.

BC=Building Capacity

The next step of the SPF is capacity building, or as we refer to it, building capacity. This step is important because it involves identifying what resources are available in your community and deciding how you might be able to use each resource to meet program or project goals.


Planning is the third step of the SPF and is where you will spend most of your time. In this phase, you develop a logical, data-driven plan with evidence-based policies, programs and practices to address problems identified in the community assessment.


The fourth step, implementation, simply means to carry out the program or project or take action based on the plan you created in the Planning stage. Implementation takes place on the day of your project or over the course of your program or campaign. It includes all the activities that are a part of your project plan, including your evaluation.


The evaluation process not only includes determining how well your project went and measuring its impact, but whether or not it accomplished what you intended. The evaluation process should help you decide if your program, strategy, or project should be terminated or replaced, improved for next time, or done over and over again.

Don’t forget… the SPF also involves two important elements for effective and successful prevention initiatives.

These two elements are sustainability link and cultural competence. You should address these in every step to ensure that your efforts are designed to last and meet the diverse needs of your community.

Why We Use the SPF:

RUS_6345 (2)At GUIDE, we use the SPF in everything we do, whether it is for our Alcohol Prevention Project, various conferences and trainings we are planning, Georgia Teen Institute, social media campaigns or simply the general operation of our office and staff.

Why do we use the SPF? We use the SPF because it proves to be a very useful tool to help us be successful in all of our endeavors. By using the Strategic Prevention Framework, we are able to identify and assess the key issues and problems in our community, build long-lasting connections with diverse partners, have access to abundant resources we can use to address different issues, plan and implement evidence-based strategies, reach our goals and learn how to improve and make things better than before.

We also have the opportunity to share our knowledge and experiences of using the SPF with youth and adults around the state to teach them how to create sustainable and effective projects to better their community.

To better acquaint you with the SPF process, we will be writing a series of blogs about the SPF over the next several months. Stay tuned for our next post on Assessment coming in November!


GUIDE YAB Gets a Fresh Start in 2014

GUIDE, Inc. Youth Advisory Board (YAB), made up of 15 high school students in Gwinnett County, seeks to create positive community change. Five of our YAB members attended a leadership program this past summer, Georgia Teen Institute. While they were at camp, the group utilized the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) to create an Action Plan in order to facilitate said change. Their Action Plan included a town hall meeting for youth dedicated to providing an alcohol-, tobacco- and other drug-free activity, illustrating that students can have a lot of fun living a substance-free life.

1544430_728298090513527_1309635970_nWhen the YAB held their first meeting of the year in August 2013, members reviewed the Action Plan and the SPF process began. Because of the great detailed work that took place at Georgia Teen Institute, the YAB jumped right back into the planning process. Members worked hard to plan the event by seeking community sponsors, recruiting for high school student leaders to attend and addressing event logistics. YAB chose the title, “Fresh Start Town Hall Meeting” to demonstrate the ability teens have to start over with new perspectives and behaviors. The Fresh Start Town Hall Meeting took place on Saturday, January 11, 2014 from 6:30 – 11:30 pm.

YAB members were very appreciative of the support of J.M. Tull-Gwinnett Family YMCA. YAB partnered with the YMCA, who provided the space for the Fresh Start Town Hall Meeting. The facility was the perfect location for the event! The YMCA also provided the keynote speaker, Wes Bender. He was a huge hit with all of the participants and shared many “tools for their toolboxes” and lots of laughter!

1536510_728297917180211_773898651_nThe workshops at Fresh Start were both informational and engaging. Officer Rooks from the Gwinnett County Police Department facilitated a workshop on how important decision making is in a young person’s life. He also provided a great deal of laughter, along with lots of important information on the dangers of underage drinking and drug use. Two YAB members, Maya and Charlene, facilitated a team building workshop. They did a fantastic job leading the group in leadership activities while focusing on the Fresh Start theme. They shared significant knowledge with the participants, encouraging them that a new year is a great time to turn over a new leaf. During free time, participants enjoyed using the YMCA facilities including racquetball, Zumba and the Teen Center.

1526757_728297837180219_157327317_nThe event wrapped up with a skit written and performed by YAB members. During the skit, YAB provided reasons why youth should make positive choices and how they can share this information with their peers in a fun, easy to understand way. Much like Georgia Teen Institute, YAB members provided door prizes and energizers, too!

The Fresh Start Town Hall Meeting was an excellent way for YAB members to learn more about the SPF and utilize its steps to effectively plan a program. To wrap up the SPF process, YAB members collected evaluations and analyzed results. They also met to discuss the event and have already started to plan for next year!