Kentucky Logic Model Training Helps Practitioners Connect the Dots

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Logic models are visual tools that present the rationale behind a program or process. They connect and communicate the multiple elements that comprise a comprehensive prevention plan, and help to ensure that all key players had a shared understanding of where they were heading.

That’s why states like Kentucky are requiring the counties they fund to incorporate logic models into their local substance use prevention plans—and why PS@EDC’s Jess Goldberg spent two days in January training 80 substance misuse prevention practitioners from across the state on how to do so.

“The beauty of logic models is they provide a structure for taking what’s in your head and putting it down on paper,” explains Goldberg. “People often resist the process initially. But once they get started and begin to see the connections, they invariably breathe a sigh of relief."

Goldberg began the training by focusing on the benefits of logic model development, describing the process as the “golden thread” that connected identified problems, selected strategies, and anticipated outcomes. From then on, it was all hands-on: participants broke into groups, pushed up their sleeves, and began building their models, guided by a clear, step-by-step process.

“We covered a lot of territory, but the group was invested in seeing the process through and excited to see the pieces connected,” says Goldberg. Over the next two days, they created problem statements, defined their target audiences, developed clear goals, identified prevention strategies that were the right match for the problems they had selected, and began developing implementation and evaluation plans.

“We were pleased that the practitioners were able to walk away with a completed logic model,” said Patti Clark, the Program Manager for the Prevention and Promotion Branch of Kentucky’s Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental, and Intellectual Disabilities. “Jess was an incredible asset to the process. She knew how to communicate critical concepts so they resonated. People will be able to take what they learned and apply it.”

This is an important outcome, as over the next three months, the training participants will be sharing what they learned with Kentucky’s prevention coalitions.

“I’m glad we were able to provide them with tools they can use moving forward, and we look forward to continuing to work with the state to support their prevention efforts,” says Goldberg.

For more information about Prevention Solutions@EDC’s work in Kentucky, contact Jess Goldberg at jgoldberg@edc.org.