The Office of Population Affairs has released the following Cooperative agreement, Advancing Equity in Adolescent Health through Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs and Services (Tier 1). Submission deadline is April 18, 2023.
Through the replication of high-quality, medically accurate and age-appropriate evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs (EBPs) in communities and populations with the greatest needs facing significant disparities, this initiatives goals are to:
Dibble programs are engaging, powerful evidence based tools to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for youth.
Love Notes 4.0
A randomized control trial in Louisville found that 12 months after completing the program young people from the Love Notes intervention were 46% less likely to become pregnant or cause a pregnancy than the control group.
Love Notes is the only program on the OAH list of Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs with 5 or more positive outcomes. (LIST)
Relationship Smarts PLUS 5.0
Results from a randomized control trial of Relationship Smarts PLUS (RSP) with students in Georgia showed that at three years post instruction:
- Girls in the control group were almost two times more likely to have sex without a condom compared to the girls in the RSP group.
- Girls in the RSP group were almost two and a half times less likely to be in an unhealthy relationship (defined as their partner keeping them from seeing friends, making them feel stupid, potentially hurting them) than the control group.
A randomized control study of youth in care showed adolescents in the intervention group significantly improved in five trauma coping skills, significantly decreased their PTSD symptoms along with trending improvements in their social competence and emotional regulation.
Dibble programs are firmly rooted in principles of positive youth development.
Below is an expounded list of how our programs are aligned with positive youth development approaches.
- Love Notes 4.0 Positive Youth Development
- Relationship Smarts PLUS 5.0 – Positive Youth Development
- Mind Matters – Positive Youth Development
Click here to download all files.
Dibble's Program Content and Outcomes
The Dibble Institute uses innovative approaches in our EBPs to achieve sexual and reproductive health along with positive youth development and social-emotional learning outcomes with youth who have been historically underserved. Our programs have been developed with youth who face challenges in their lives as the focus. Our developers consult with and teach these youth first-hand to fine tune the materials to meet their needs. We employ a strengths-based approach that empowers young people to gain agency in their lives.
We approach these young people with a sense of humility. They often face many challenges – economic, educational, health, safety, and more – in their lives often due to historic racism and other cultural factors. Our question is not “What’s wrong with you?” but rather, “What happened to you?” Changing the trajectory of their lives is a goal of many high-needs young people but they simply don’t know how to get to where they want to be.
Our programs focus on equipping higher-needs young people with the knowledge, tools, and skills to build agency around their intimate and other important relationships. We provide the skills and guidance for the young people to adopt into their own lives and circumstances.
Evaluation results confirm the benefits of this approach. African-American urban teens in Louisville who were taught Love Notes were 46% less likely to become pregnant at a year post-instruction than the control group. In a study of Relationship Smarts PLUS (RSP), at three years post instruction girls who did not take the program were more than twice as likely to not use a condom during sex over the prior ninety days than girls who did take RSP. System-involved youth who took the Mind Matters classes showed a significant decrease in PTSD symptoms and a significant increase in trauma coping skills.
These strong outcomes, thanks to Dibble’s innovative, engaging approaches, have helped organizations advance equity and give opportunities to the historically underserved youth they serve, which helps them achieve optimal health.
Our aim is to reduce barriers to participating in a Dibble program so more young people can benefit from gaining agency in their intimate relationships. As a result, we offer clients flexibility in how our programs are taught. So long as the core content is covered by a Dibble Certified Educator and each student has their own participant journal, classes may be taught online, in-person, or via a hybrid model. Classes may be taught daily, weekly, or again, as a combination of the two. Some clients find that a “camp” model where multiple lessons are taught in one day works best for them. Classes can be taught in schools that have regular 45-50 minute classes or 90 minute block schedules.
At Dibble we believe that our classes are best taught in the way that will allow the most young people to gain from the knowledge, skills, and tools in our programs.
Our programs have been successfully delivered in many settings including juvenile justice, child welfare, residential, and schools (middle, high, alternative, charter). Students in rural, suburban, and urban communities have engaged with the content.
We encourage cultural adaptations to our materials. These include changing the videos (with developer permission), photos on the slides, names, scenarios to more closely approximate those you are serving. All participant materials plus the Trusted Adult Connection activities have been translated into Spanish. We welcome inquiries about additional translations to reach more youth.
Our programs were written to be very inclusive of LGBTQ+ youth. Our programs do not assume the gender of a young person’s partner. Our authors have written the materials to be inclusive of diverse youth because you never know who may be in the group you are teaching. As a result, our materials are currently being successfully used with LGBTQ+ youth in group settings specifically for LGBTQ+ youth, whether out of school time or in a residential setting.
Overall, we see great benefits to youth to getting smart about their love lives. These include better sexual and reproductive health outcomes, greater agency, and mental well-being. As a result, we make every effort to reduce barriers to participation.
Please feel free to consult with our team to brainstorm how best to reach populations who have been historically underserved.
The Office of Population Affairs expects funded projects to:
Dibble programs have been proven to address the needs of many different kinds of young people in multiple settings including those facing significant disparities. For instance, participants in the RCT of Love Notes in Louisville were primarily (86%) inner city, African American adolescdents.
Check out our case studies of Dibble clients working with young people leading challenging lives using:
The Dibble Institute is committed to your project’s success! During your planning period we will support you as you conduct your needs assessment and EBP final determination. We can provide content and implementation experts to come alongside you as you work with your community and potential partners. We will also make a complimentary kit of materials available to help your community and youth verify the best EBP for your settings
The Dibble Institute has replicated relationship skills programs to scale across multiple states and within distinct communities. Whether you use your own staff to facilitate or you utilize existing school or partner agency staff using the Dibble Saturation Model, we are happy to share our best practices with you for cost-effective, high-quality implementation approaches.
All Dibble’s programs include annotated PowerPoints, fidelity logs, and other tools to assure that your facilitators stay on track. They can be used by the teacher to report on their progress and they can also be used as an observation tool. Ask us for a sample!
d. Execute their overall project, including implementation of EBPs, in equitable, safe, supportive, and inclusive environments, using trauma-informed and positive youth development approaches
The Dibble Institute believes in the importance of using trauma-informed and positive youth development approaches in creating our materials. As a result, our programs are written through a trauma-informed and strengths-based lens.
Throughout our curricula you can find tips on reducing, recognizing, addressing, and managing situations that may arise when discussing the sensitive topics, which research has shown to be important to achieving the goals of this funding opportunity. During Dibble trainings, participants explore trauma-informed delivery approaches, with additional suggestions offered by Dibble Training Specialists.
Equally important, we focus on positive youth development by designing our programs utilizing a strengths-based approach. Our programs empower youth with the skills needed to form and maintain healthy relationships, make safer sexual (and life) choices, and work towards their goals. Our approach helps facilitators focus on youth’s strengths, be inclusive in mindset and language, and build positive relationships with the youth and community they’re serving. To further reinforce the importance (and future use) of these approaches and skills, we provide additional discussion points and modeling in our Dibble trainings.
Tools for Your Application
Dibble programs are being successfully implemented with a wide range of youth, especially those who have suffered historic disparities. Diverse organizations have successfully taught the programs in a wide variety of settings. Here is a partial list of populations and settings where our programs are being used.
Check out our real life Case Studies here.
- Risk-immersed youth
- Expecting and parenting teens (both fathers and mothers)
- LGBTQ+ youth
- Youth in correctional settings
- Tribal youth
- Runaway and homeless youth
- Community college students
- Foster youth (both within the system and aging out)
- Young people who have suffered abuse
- Trafficked youth
- Rural, urban, and suburban youth
- Challenge academies
- Alternative schools
- Faith-based settings
- Community based agencies
- In-home visitation
- Homeless shelters
- Workforce Development (YouthBuild/Job Corps)
- Juvenile Justice settings
- Group homes (Foster)
- Residential settings (Mental health)
Mind Matters as an EBP for non-sexual risk factors
Recent studies of adolescents have found that:
- Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and PTSD symptoms are associated with sexual risk-taking (i.e., sexual initiation, multiple sexual partners, unprotected sex; Song & Qian, 2020; Tull, Weiss, & McDermott, 2016) and higher risk of pregnancy (Song & Qian, 2020).
- Youth assets (e.g., self-regulation skills) are associated with less sexual risk-taking (Song & Wian, 2020).
Unfortunately, many young people have experienced ACEs and other difficulties in their lives, thus putting them at greater risk for these sexual-risk taking behaviors highlighted in the research above.
Evidence from an evaluation of Mind Matters (Antle et al., 2021) demonstrates the program’s effect on sexual risk-taking precursors. Specifically, youth who received the Mind Matters curriculum:
- Reported a decrease in their PTSD symptoms after programming.
- Reported an increase in protective factors (i.e., knowledge in self-regulation and trauma-coping skills)
Song, W., & Qian, X. (2020). Adverse Childhood Experiences and Teen Sexual Behaviors: The Role of Self‐Regulation and School‐Related Factors. Journal of school health, 90(11), 830-841.
Tull, M. T., Weiss, N. H., & McDermott, M. J. (2016). Post-traumatic stress disorder and impulsive and risky behavior: Overview and discussion of potential mechanisms. Comprehensive guide to post-traumatic stress disorders, 2, 803-16.
Logic models for both Love Notes and Relationship Smarts PLUS are included here for your information. While curricula based logic models are not required in this application, we thought they could use useful for you as you develop your grant’s logic model.
The following fidelity aids and checklists are available when you purchase the Dibble programs:
- Annotated slide deck to focus the instructor on key content.
- Observational fidelity tools for facilitators, coaches, and evaluators
- Dibble Certified Training to assure fidelity to the EBP models.
The Dibble Institute offers high-quality training designed specifically to support your facilitators in delivering Dibble materials with fidelity while meeting the needs of the youth in your community! In these interactive trainings, which are available online or in-person, our experienced Dibble Training Specialists will provide tips for creating a safe and welcoming learning environment for all, including noting methods for trauma-informed teaching, while also offering tips for adapting the curriculum based on the setting and specific needs of your youth.
Upon completion of our trainings, facilitators will be able to confidently and successfully implement the curriculum in a way that promotes youth learning and creates positive outcomes. With that said our support for your team doesn’t end there! We’re happy to offer ongoing assistance for your staff and facilitators as they begin and continue to implement Dibble curricula to aide in the success of your programming.
In support of the 2023 TPP Tier 1 expectation* of well-trained staff and to teach the program with full fidelity, training by a Dibble Training Specialist in our programs is required.
- Dibble trainings are conducted by our experienced Training Specialists via ZOOM in 5 successive 3.5-hour days or in person for 3 full days.
- A single seat at a virtual training is $995 for the 5-day training. This is a great option if you have fewer than 8 staff to train over a year period. (This option is only available for virtual trainings.)
- Group online training for 25 seats is $6,995. This option allows you to schedule a total of 25 team members (managers, supervisors, and/or facilitators) at virtual trainings over a 12-month period. This is a great option for programs who plan to add staff as grant activities roll out.
- A closed, custom training for up to 25 participants is $6,995. This allows you to have the training fully customized with the complete focus on your team and needs of your community. This option can be either in-person (with additional travel expenses) or on-line.
If you have recently been trained in a Dibble program or if you currently have a Dibble Certified Trainer on staff, please call our training team at 800-695-7975 to discuss your next steps for this new funding.
*Successful applicants will “demonstrate organizational readiness to implement the project through staffing, training, and clear project management processes and protocols.”
To assist you in planning your budget to support your grant’s goals, below are two tools for your use.
The budget worksheet will help you calculate the curriculum and training costs. In order to maintain the fidelity to our evidence based programs, we expect all facilitators to have their own instructor’s manual as well as to have attended training with a Dibble certified trainer. The art supply list is included to make sure your facilitators have what they need to successfully present each lesson.
The Dibble Institute includes two hours of complimentary consultations with every training. Additional services may be scheduled based on your needs.
Consultation topics may include:
- Bringing your program to scale
- Creating realistic recruitment and retention plans
- Successful implementation models in schools and youth development programs
- Identifying referral resources
- Post training booster webinar
- Developing a post-training plan for successful facilitation
- Insights into risk and protective factors
- Review and oversight of adaptations to assure ﬁdelity
We strongly recommend that together we sign a Letter of Intent to Review Love Notes, Relationship Smarts Plus, and/or Mind Matters. Signing this letter in advance will assure that you get a Dibble Planning Period Kit that will include tools to make the review process easier for you with youth and your community. We only have limited supplies of these kits. Signing the Letter of Intent to Review will assure that you receive one.
To help us understand your approach, please send an email Aaron@DibbleInstitute.org with your signed letter of intent below, along with your signed budget worksheet.
Questions and Answers from the Office of Population Affairs
“The NOFO gives the impression that we are not allowed to mention [previously identified EBPs] in the application. Identifying the preliminary curricula in the proposal would allow us to prepare an accurate budget that includes training costs and the cost of materials. Without listing preliminary curricula in the application, how should I budget for things like training and curriculum materials?”
Response: The NOFO does not preclude applicants from including proposed EBPs in their application. It does, however, note that applicants are not required to have finalized selection of EBPs in their application (p. 24). Recipients will be expected to obtain OPA approval from selected EBPs prior to piloting the programs and we will provide further guidance to recipients on the EBP approval process upon award (p.10).
The Tier 1 NOFO Technical Assistance (TA) webinar was held on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. You can watch the recording here.
Here are some helpful resources and background information that was shared:
- National Vital Statistics Reports – Births: Final Data for 2020
- Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2020
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on adolescents – The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All (2019)
Six Prep Steps for Writing an OPA Application
(By Tenacious Change)
You’ve been anxiously awaiting a major funding announcement. You open your email inbox and – Ta Da! – there it is. It doesn’t matter whether it is from a state or federal agency or a private funder. It. Is. A. BIG. One. You see it. Your heart begins to race, and your mind begins to whirl with this question: What do I do now? We’re here to help with a six-step prep plan. Ready? Let’s go!
2. Carefully go through the complete funding announcement. Don’t just read it. Mark it up as you go through it. Whether online or on paper, use a highlighter, take notes in the margins with your comments and questions, and dog-ear or bookmark the pages.
- Key dates and deadlines related to your application. Also look for the timeline you will need to address in your proposal to include planning, implementation, and reporting.
- The date and time of any technical assistance webinar by OPA to help you understand the announcement. Put it in your calendar and plan to attend.
- The goal of the funding announcement and how the funder expects you to achieve it. This will give you a sense of the approach (or approaches) you will need to take.
- The background on the program to learn why the funder is putting the funding forward. Understanding the funder’s rationale can help you respond clearly and directly to the funder’s concerns.
- Any stated expectations and requirements of the funder. These will tell you what the funder expects you to do if you receive an award. Your proposal needs to explain how you plan to meet these expectations and requirements.
- Criteria the funder uses to assess applications. Look to see how the funder “weights” each criteria and what that weight is. That will tell you where to focus your attention, even allocate your time, during the grant writing process.
- Application qualifications, processes, formatting requirements, budgeting parameters, and disqualifiers. You need to be certain your organization is eligible to apply, how you apply, that you understand the format for the application, any budget restrictions, and any misstep or mistake that could result in disqualifying your application. Learn more about how Tenacious Change can Help…
3. Get Organized. Now that you’ve gone through the funding announcement, ask yourself:
Who do I need to help me write this application? Realistically, you will not write this application alone, even if you are the lead writer.
Who holds the expertise or information you need to write the application? It may be people in your organization, in partner organizations, or even in the community you want to serve.
What is IT (the initiative, program, project, etc.) we want to have funded? What is the need for it, and how do we demonstrate the need?
Who will benefit and how will they benefit when the initiative is successful? What is the impact we want it to make? How will we measure results?
What will be our approach/approaches? (e.g., Education? Prevention programs? Services? Social media? etc.)
Are we resilient enough (do we have enough capacity) to deliver it? Or do we need to partner with others and, if so, who? Do we have sufficient staff who are right for the initiative?
What is the realistic minimum budget we need to accomplish it?
5. Get Started. After your team has agreed on individual tasks and deadlines, get going. You may find it helpful to set your timeline and deadlines by working backwards from the submission due date.
6. One last tip for now…write the application with the reviewer in mind. Remember, reviewers may not know your organization, your project, or even the field or topic of teen pregnancy prevention. They may be unfamiliar with the acronyms you use. They will have to read hundreds of pages of applications, including yours. Be kind to them. Make their experience of reading your application as easy, simple, and complete as possible. This will make it memorable, and they will also remember your kindness.
Are you applying for TPP Tier 1 funding in California?
We’ve got you covered!
As of July 1, 2023, Love Notes will be CHYA (California Healthy Youth Act) compliant.
The California Healthy Youth Act has five primary purposes and Love Notes will cover all five.
- To provide pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect their sexual and reproductive health from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and from unintended pregnancy;
- To provide pupils with the knowledge and skills they need to develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender, sexual orientation, relationships, marriage, and family;
- To promote understanding of sexuality as a normal part of human development;
- To ensure pupils receive integrated, comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased sexual health and HIV prevention instruction and provide educators with clear tools and guidance to accomplish that end;
- To provide pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to have healthy, positive, and safe relationships and behaviors
We are currently adding additional content to meet CHYA’s requirements. The California adaptation of Love Notes may take up to 14 hours to completely cover all topics. This is the amount of time districts in California make available for sexual and reproductive health instruction.
If you have any questions, please email Aaron at DibbleInstitute.org.