Statewide Interagency Collaboration to Increase Access to Professional Training in Evidence-Based Practice
Most programs have very limited capacity for scaling up interventions in ways that lead to meaningful improvements in outcomes for individuals with ASD, and collaboration across service systems presents even greater challenges.
The California Autism Professional Training and Information Network (CAPTAIN) is a statewide collaboration of providers from Special Education Local Plan Areas, Regional Centers and Family Resource Centers with the common goal of providing training and technical assistance in evidence-based practices (EBPs) for ASD. CAPTAIN was established in 2012 and currently has over 400 members who were nominated to participate by their employing agency. Members are expected to provide training in EBPs for ASD to providers within their home agency.
A leadership team of cross agency representatives guides the training and support efforts of the organization, including coordinating an annual 2-day training summit for members, maintaining a website and providing a 10hr on-line course on ASD.
The current project will characterize CAPTAIN participation statewide during the 2015/2016 fiscal year and will describe training practices used by CAPTAIN members and identified barriers to training in EBPs for ASD.
Administrative data were analyzed to determine agency engagement in CAPTAIN. A 56 item survey was distributed to CAPTAIN cadre members to gather descriptive data on training practices and barriers to implementation of training in EBPs for ASD.
Three hundred seventy-one CAPTAIN cadre members participated. Member nomination and CAPTAIN endorsement across state agencies was high with 87% of SELPAS, 90% of Regional Centers and 100% of Family Resource Centers participating. Within the group, the majority of cadre members were representing SELPAs (n=303; 82%), then Regional Centers (n=53; 14%) and Family Resource Centers (n=15; 4%).
Preliminary analysis of survey data indicates successful outcomes in terms of the frequency of training offered by cadre members, with 86% of SELPA cadre members conducting some training on EBPs for ASD. Approximately 20% of cadre members reported doing some type of training in EBP (group or 1:1) on a weekly basis, 32% conducted training at least monthly. Of those conducting training, 84% indicated they used live demonstrations, role playing and practice. Seventy percent of cadre members reporting using a fidelity checklist when coaching trainees. Additionally, 75% report collecting data on student outcomes to ensure the EBP is having the desired effect.
Adequate time for training and coaching was identified as a primary barrier to implementation of training in EBP by a majority of cadre members (56%); however other primary barriers were identified by lower percentages of cadre members, including administrative support (6.9%), trainee/staff support (13.8%), knowledge (3.2%), policy (.5%), -organizational issues/turnover (7.4%).
These data indicate preliminary success for CAPTAIN and the inter-agency collaboration process of disseminating information about EBP for ASD statewide. However, data also indicate variability in the amount of training and types of training provided state-wide. Data collected on barriers and facilitators of implementation of EBP training indicate time as a primary barrier to providing training. Additional analyses are on-going and will be discussed.