Many behavioral health organizations, like youth care agencies, have read the research on evidenced-based programs and understand the many benefits these practices and programs offer individuals under their care. With that said, the implementation of evidenced-based programs hasn’t caught up to the science. Many local agencies have a difficult time fully implementing an evidenced-based program. Many more who do have some success in implementing these programs often times cannot maintain the program over time. In this article we are going to talk about why it’s been difficult for agencies to implement evidenced-based programs, like the Teaching-Family Model and how failure can be avoided with the right help.

Why is Proper Implementation of Evidence-Based Programs Important?

implement evidence-based program

For very obvious reasons, if you believe in a program enough to infuse it into your current treatment system, you believe in its benefits. It’s important to properly implement an evidence-based program like the Teaching-Family Model because it must be implemented properly in order to realize all of its benefits. Also, failure by one practitioner to fully adhere to all of the principles that guide evidence-based programs, can negatively impact other areas and other practitioners. We all know that learning a new program or system takes time, and can be challenging, but if you truly believe in the importance of the program that you’re implementing, failure is not an option.

Failure to Implement Evidence-Based Programs

Many practitioners have a difficult time adhering to a new evidenced-based program when they are not implemented properly. According to the authors, DeBattista, Trivedi, Kern, & Lembke  of “The Status of Evidence-Based Guidelines and Algorithms in the Treatment of Depression”, published in 2002, “even when guidelines are carefully implemented through intensive physician education or well publicized through distribution or publication, their use and influence in clinical practice remains elusive…Evidence suggests that even if a physician adheres to a guideline initially, adherence often diminishes over time” (p. 662). Sometime practitioners adhere fully to all aspects of the new evidence-based program, but that adherence diminishes as the months and years go by. Others only full implement certain aspects of the new program. Whatever the issue is, the result is the failure to properly implement the evidenced-based program. This begs the question, how can we do a better job implementing the program?

Get Help Implementing Evidenced-Based Programs

Implementing a new program like the Teaching-Family Model within a local agency takes time, education, coaching, evaluation, and feedback. You have to follow a similar procedure to that of the program itself when you’re implementing the program at your agency. Bringing in the right help to not only provide your practitioners with the education on the evidence-based program, but also to be there as coaches while those practitioners practice, evaluate each of them against the guiding principles of the program, and then provide feedback to practitioners to help them learn where they are succeeding and where they are falling short is the only true way of ensuring proper implementation of an evidence-based program like the Teaching-Family Model. Implementing an evidence-based program is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard, and you don’t have to worry about failing to properly implement the new program IF you work with the right people to support your implementation process.