GAUDPC Strategic Plan

(in 2010 funding for the TRAVIS COUNTY ALLIANCE through the Texas Department of State Health Services concluded.  Following a sustainability study the membership of the TRAVIS COUNTY ALLIANCE agreed to continue the organization, renaming it to the GREATER AUSTIN UNDERAGE DRINKING PREVENTION COUNCIL (GAUDPC) and adopting the recommendations of the study.  A new focus was established.)

TRAVIS COUNTY ALLIANCE STRATEGIC PLAN – 2009/2010

History
 The Travis County Alliance has existed since March 2007 when the Travis County Sherriff’s Office was awarded a grant to become the fiscal sponsor of a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG). The SPF SIG funded a community-based coalition to address binge drinking and alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities for persons ages 12-25. In early 2008, the fiscal sponsor chose to not renew the grant and, although lacking funding, the Travis County Alliance held meetings, maintained membership, and a strong mission focus that carried them through this time. In July of 2008, the persistence paid off and Austin Community Foundation became fiscal sponsor of the Alliance and engaged Texans Standing Tall as the programmatic leads for the grant. The Alliance continually seeks new opportunities for outreach and development as well as training and educational opportunities for coalition members.
Vision
A safe and alcohol-free environment for Travis County youth.
Mission
To initiate proven, community-based strategies to reduce underage drinking and other risky behaviors.
Introduction
This strategic plan outlines how the Travis County Alliance for a Safer Community (TCA) will achieve the goals put forth in Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG). The Alliance uses the SPF model to enact community-wide change to reduce the prevalence of underage alcohol consumption and other risky behaviors that are correlated with it. The SPF is a process consisting of five sequential and integrated steps that provide a comprehensive prevention system. These steps are dynamic in that they are constantly being revisited to adapt to the needs of the community and are as follows: Assessment, Capacity Building, Strategic Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation.
Assessment Overview
Regional Demographic Summary
 Travis County is located in central Texas with an estimated population of 948,160, representing more than 4% of the state population. Austin, as both the county seat and as the state capital, is home to the bulk of the county’s population with 76.7% of the county’s populace and is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Pflugerville is second in population with 34,419 people and Lakeway is third in size with 10,627. According to the County Information Project the ethnic makeup consists of 53% non-Hispanic White, 32.5% Hispanic, 8.9% African American, and 5.6% Asian American. The median annual household income is $53,000 with an unemployment rate of approximately 7.2%. The median age is 32.2 with 25% of the population being younger than 18 years of age. This demographic overview demonstrates how Travis County possesses two of the most important demographic factors relevant to substance abuse: a rapidly expanding population and a large proportion of youth among its populace.
A large proportion of the Alliance’s target population (age range 12-25) is currently being served by one of the colleges or independent school districts within the County. Travis County possesses an abundance of Institutions of Higher Education with ten such establishments within its borders including the University of Texas at Austin, which is the largest in the state with an enrollment of approximately 50,000 students. Travis County houses 107 campuses for Austin Independent School District (AISD) as well as school campuses served by other independent school districts (ISD) including Round Rock ISD, Pfluggerville ISD, Leander ISD, Manor ISD, Del Valle ISD, Lake Travis ISD, Lago Vista ISD, and Eanes ISD.
Needs Assessment
 The initial needs assessment was completed by the Travis County Alliance for a Safer Community (TCA) in August 2007 with updates made in September 2008.  The coalition members reviewed and examined data on the following:
  • DWI arrests (Austin Police Department)
  • Number of licensed on premise liquor licenses in Travis County (TABC)
  • The number of successful sting operations conducted in Austin and Travis County
  • The Texas Schools Survey (Liu, 2006)
  • The Texas College Students Survey (DSHS, 2005)
  • The number of prevention programs/resources that are available for 12-25 year olds
DWI Arrests: The issue of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is an important metric to follow due to the immense danger that this behavior poses towards both the driver and society at large. This danger is reflected in the magnitude of alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities (MVF) in Texas during 2004, which was the highest in the nation. The vast number of deaths directly attributable to drinking and driving led to this metric becoming the priority substance use consequence identified by the SPF statewide epidemiology workgroup.
Travis County was one of the seven worst offending counties in the state in this regard, with 55% of the motor vehicles fatalities being alcohol related in 2005, and therefore money was specifically set-aside for a coalition to deal with the problem. The issue of DWI has not abated since that report however as the number of DWI arrests reported by the Austin Police Department has consistently trended upwards in the last three years with the latest from 2008. While these numbers are not age specific, they do follow the upward trends in the underage DWI arrests reported in the Uniform Crime Report produced by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
The quantity of minors who were arrested for DWI statewide in 2007 was a staggering 11,457 representing a 3.6% increase over a seven-year period. While these figures are very useful, they suffer from deficiencies caused by time lags in statewide data, lack of county-specific data, and the disjointed and often absent data streams that are available within the county from all of the local law enforcement. These conditions currently contribute to an incomplete picture of this metric.
Alcohol Retailers: In 2007, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) recorded 1,207 licensed, on-premise alcohol retailers and 765 off premise retailers in the county. The large numbers of alcohol retailers present within Travis County are important because research has consistently shown that the retail alcohol density is directly correlated with greater alcohol use and an increase in the dangerous behaviors that often accompany it. To discover to what extent retailers represent an avenue for access to minors, the TABC conducts operations where minors, under the supervision of TABC officials, attempt to purchase liquor from licensed retail establishments.
In 2006, there were 787 such “sting” operations yielding an astounding 22% success rate in “young-looking” minors purchasing alcohol without identification. The Travis County Sherriff’s Office has a similar scheme in their compliance check programs that have resulted in similarly high noncompliance rates ranging up to 50% depending on the night, location, and merchants targeted. The results have demonstrated that Retail access to alcohol is an issue that needs further attention.
The goal of this environmental strategy is to decrease the accessibility and availability to minors at retail outlets.  With this goal in mind, the Alliance is focusing on decreasing the number of retailers selling to minors by 10% by September 2010.  The strategy will focus on compliance checks that are diversified in implementation to include data collection by gender, retail outlets, and products purchased combined with increasing seller education participation among retail distributors.
School Surveys: There is only a limited amount of available data from student surveys on alcohol use due to the fiscal requirements of administering a large-scale district-wide survey and the potential resulting damage to a district’s image if negative results were to be disseminated. As an example, the largest district in the county, Austin ISD, conducts a survey with limited questions on alcohol use and the data that are made available contains no information on how students access alcohol or other drugs. This makes it difficult to get a countywide picture of social access or norms.
The issue of Social Access to alcohol is addressed in the Texas School Survey on Substance Abuse Among Students Grades 7-12 (2006) from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). This report showed that 65% of secondary school students had received alcohol in the past from parties and 58% from friends. This is in comparison to the 19% response rate for those who had received alcohol from a store or from home. These Texas statistics are in line with national figures that were reported in the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This report by the Department of Health and Human Services reports that 69.4% of minors received alcohol for their last drinking episode from social situations.
The PRIDE survey that was completed by Eanes ISD yielded relevant data on social norms and how they play a significant role in youth alcohol use in the region. The survey showed a positive correlation between students’ perceptions of peer drinking behaviors and the amount of alcohol that was consumed. Similar data comes from the 2005 College Survey showing a comparable correlation between the acceptance level of a student’s family with drinking and the student’s actual drinking behavior. Students from families that have little concern for underage drinking reported higher rates of binge drinking and alcohol abuse. Research has consistently shown that social norms play a role in behavioral intentions and that misperceptions can be corrected leading to decreased negative or harmful behaviors. Thus changing social norms provides an avenue for altering the perceptions that lead some minors to consume alcohol.
Data Gaps
As a foundation for good planning and evaluation, ready access to quality data in the County is a necessity.  There are a number of gaps in data that will be addressed, where possible, through access from state agencies, consolidation of local data, or development and implementation of survey data.  These include, but aren’t limited to:
  • Travis County-specific DWI data.  There are numerous law enforcement agencies within Travis County, each with their own data collection systems.  For arrest data, the largest of these include the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO), and the Austin Police Department (APD).  However, there are numerous smaller agencies as well.  For example, in the Eanes Independent School District alone, six separate law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction.  In addition, another state agency, the Texas Department of Transportation, is responsible for the collection of crash data.  Consolidating and aggregating information from these various agencies is being accomplished to create a more accurate and total picture for the County.
  • Student prevalence data.  The Eanes Independent School District has conducted the PRIDE survey, but other institutions in Travis County have not recently conducted similar surveys.  Cost is a definite factor in whether a school, college, university or community implements a comprehensive survey.  The Austin Independent School District does not administer the Texas Secondary School Survey or the PRIDE survey, they administer their own survey and the Alliance has not been able to access the data around that specific survey. The Alliance will explore the potential for conducting additional surveys to create a more comprehensive and long-term database.
  • College prevalence data. Currently we have very little data on college alcohol use rates and associated risky behavior data. We are working to secure relationships and capacity to secure such data so that appropriate evidence-based strategies can be selected and implemented. One such survey to collect this data would be the Core Survey. The Alliance will explore the potential for conducting additional surveys to create a more comprehensive and long-term database.
  • Age-specific data.  Available data is not always age-specific.  Some data is age-specific but grouped in ways that are not conducive to determining age more specific than the pre-established groups.   Data will be reviewed and requests made from data-holders to determine what additional information might be available that focuses specifically on youth/young adults ages 12-25.
  • Hospital and trauma data.  There are several challenges that limit amount of and access to hospital and trauma data.  Until ways to reduce these barriers are found, the Alliance will need to depend on other and surrogate data elements.
  • Adjudication data.  There is no “tracking” system that exists which allows a determination of consequences for a youthful offender.  Anecdotal information from youth, parents, teachers and law enforcement indicate that there are few, if any, consequences with little chance of getting caught and subsequent lack of penalties if found guilty of an infraction.  Different court systems handle different severities of illegal activity with youthful offenders frequently being adjudicated in municipal court.  A stronger working relationship with the judges and court administrators in Travis County will be needed to help address this information gap.
Current Community Capacity
 The following resources/programs are available to the community regarding underage drinking prevention:
  • Why Risk It? – Travis County Underage Drinking Prevention Program by the Travis County Attorney’s Office consisting of a locally produced video presentation of DWI and minors
  • Danger Without Intentions – DWI awareness program
  • Travis County Sherriff’s Office, Shattered Dreams, Community Service and Outreach Unit
  • Department of Public Safety, Trooper Robbie Barrerra
  • Youth Partnership for Change, a program of YouthLaunch
  • Mother’s Against Drunk Driving
  • Party 101 Consequences
  • St. Edwards University
  • Austin Community College
  • University of Texas
  • Phoenix House
  • YWCA
  • Pax United
  • Workers Assistance Program
  • LifeWorks
Available treatment services include:
  • Palmer Drug Abuse Program
  • Out Youth Austin
  • Expect Respect School Based Services
  • The Phoenix Academy
  • Teen and Family Counseling Center
  • Victory Outreach
  • Youth Advocacy
  • Travis County Juvenile Justice Integrated Network
  • Austin Recovery
Community readiness varies dramatically by location and organization. Following the needs assessment and in working with the Travis County community, the TCA has determined that the community is ready to address retail alcohol sales to minors, social access of alcohol to minors, and social norms of alcohol use. The Alliance will work to build community readiness in the following areas: Austin Independent School District, Social Hosting Education, and institutes of higher education
 Capacity Building
The Travis County Alliance recognizes the importance of building capacity in order to ensure sustainability in working towards the community change that it strives for. To achieve the sustainability that ensures continued service we have targeted our goals and objectives towards capacity building. In order to build capacity, the Alliance would like to establish a high functioning Executive Committee; maintain at least 12 signed community agreements; develop a functional and useful website; increase general awareness through presentations to community groups, leaders and community members; and establish operational guidelines or bylaws.
The Travis County Alliance currently has members who represent various sectors of the community. Currently, the Alliance employs a Coalition Coordinator to support the Travis County Alliance members and assist in building membership and community recognition, and an evaluator to lead the Epidemiological Workgroup and continue to track and carry out ongoing assessment and evaluation.  The Alliance also receives programmatic support from both the Executive Director, Coalition Manager, and Administrative Assistant of Texans Standing Tall[JB1] .
Current Membership Agreements: To date, 22 membership agreements have been signed by coalition members including FY 08, FY09 and FY10. Those members include:
Sharon Bauer – Austin Police Department, Sue Bryant – Leaderservices, Mindy Carroll – Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Liz Coccia – Austin Community College, Myra Constable – Youth Launch -Youth Partnership for Change, Vennie Davis – Travis County Criminal Justice Planning, Sandra Eames – Independent Evaluator, Shayna Feldman – Eanes Independent School District, Sheriff Greg Hamilton – Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Michael Hemby – Travis County Sherriff’s Office, Jill Johnstone – Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Lee Land – St. Edwards University, Gregory Lewis – Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission,  Laura Maher – Youth Partnership for Change, Deborah Parson – Danger Without Intentions, James Riley – Austin Police Department, Stephanie Rainbolt – LifeWorks, Geronimo Rodriguez – Seton Family of Hospitals Diversity and Community Outreach, SFC Colin Scott – Texas Army National Guard Drug Demand Reduction Unit, Gloria Souhami – Travis County Attorney’s Underage Drinking Prevention Program, Ryan Kellus Turner – Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, Terry Wilt – Travis County Sherriff’s Reserve Officers Association.
In focusing on building capacity the Alliance will work to build partnerships in the 12 key areas as identified by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, including:
Youth (18 or younger)
Parents
Business
The Media
Schools
Organizations serving youth
Law enforcement (including judiciary)
Religious or fraternal organizations
Civic and volunteer groups
Health care professionals
State, local or tribal government agencies with expertise in the field of substance abuse
Other organizations involved in reducing substance abuse
In addition to these committed members, Travis County Alliance has had representatives from University of Texas – Austin, St. Edwards University, Phoenix House, Parent Teachers Association, Brown Distributing, Oz White Associates Inc., and Disease of Addiction. These representatives attend meetings and/or participate in email communications.
The Travis County Alliance is in the process of building organizational guiding documents. In November 2008, an Executive Committee was formed, and they have held regular meetings since April 2009. Other working committees will be formed as needed.
To continue building on the sustainability and capacity of the coalition we will work to build and maintain outreach efforts to include:
  • Meetings with local authorities to discuss our efforts and educate them about the state of underage drinking in Travis County,
  • Presentations to other local coalitions and organizations to recruit members and build recognition of the Travis County Alliance efforts around underage drinking
  • Partnering with organizations such as TABC to reduce the doubling of efforts and increase the reach and power of individual efforts around environmental strategies such as responsible beverage service
Coalition Building and Participation Gaps
Links to other Groups and Coalitions: The Alliance is building on current partnerships and working to establish new relationships as opportunities are identified.  The following potential members/collaborators have currently been identified and a concerted effort by Alliance members is being made to establish an exchange of data and information as well as leverage activities, and other resources within these groups to develop a comprehensive approach to prevention. Target groups include:
  • Colleges and Universities.  Travis County is home to the University of Texas at Austin, one of the largest public universities in the country with an enrollment of approximately 39,000 undergraduates and 900 registered student organizations.  In addition to UT Austin, there are several smaller, public and private schools including Austin Community College, Concordia University, Huston-Tillotson University, St. Edward’s University, the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, Acton School of Business, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Park University, and a branch of Le Tourneau University.  Priority efforts will be made to coordinate with several groups and organizations at UT (due to its size), including but not limited to the UT Police Department, Office of Student Affairs, School of Social Work, Alcohol and Drug Education Program, and a newly-formed “UT-Alliance.” [JB2] Stronger connections will also be developed with St. Edward’s University (a private, Catholic college), Austin Community College (public), Concordia (a private, Lutheran college), and Huston-Tillotson (an historically black college).
  • Independent School Districts.  The Alliance enjoys a close working relationship with the Eanes Independent School District.  Eanes ISD completed its own strategic planning in 2008 and is implementing that plan in 2009 and beyond.  However, relationships with other school districts within Travis County need to be further developed.  These include the Austin Independent School District (ISD), Del Valle ISD, Round Rock ISD, Pflugerville ISD, Manor ISD, Leander ISD, Lake Travis ISD, and Lago Vista ISD.  Austin ISD is by far the largest of these school districts, with an estimated 78,000 students, and thus priority will be given to establishing a strong partnership with Austin ISD and its 18 high school campuses.  The Alliance has begun a partnership with Garza High School, of Austin ISD, for a social norms campaign.
  • Businesses.  Businesses form a critical element of any coalition, providing access to employees, financial, and in-kind resources, and the capacity to establish policies.  Retailers who sell alcohol (bars, restaurants, convenience stores, liquor stores and general grocery stores) are particularly important in pro-active prevention efforts to curb underage drinking.  Retailers will be approached from several perspectives – for added enforcement to address illegal sales, to help market positive messages, to reduce easy point-of-sale access, and to participate in the Alliance.  Retailers with easy access from colleges, universities, and high schools will be especially approached for participation. Retailer groups to be targeted include the Downtown Austin Alliance, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Austin Merchants Association (GAMA).
  • The Judiciary.  A member of the Texas Center for Municipal Courts Education (TCMCE) has recently become a participant in the Travis County Alliance.  This link will be further explored to determine how the Alliance can support fair and prompt adjudication of minors and how the judiciary might provide educational opportunities for youth in the County.
 
Planning Process
The Travis County Alliance has undertaken a methodical process to develop its Strategic Plan.  Key components of this process include the following:
  • Trainings conducted for Alliance members on the Strategic Prevention Framework, strategic planning and the steps to be taken to produce a realistic and viable plan
  • Development of a Mission Statement during an Alliance meeting with subsequent review and approval by all coalition members
  • Development of the Travis County Logic Model during an Alliance meeting with subsequent review and comment by all coalition members
  • Review and discussion of the “Travis County Alliance for a Safer Community: First Needs Assessment, August 8, 2007, and Revisions Made on September 13, 2008” data and findings to select priority intervening variables
  • Ongoing utilization of evidence-based environmental prevention strategy resources such as Centers for Disease Control, Institute of Medicine, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the RAND Document
  • Use of the forms and process defined in the RAND “Technical Report, Preventing Underage Drinking: Using Getting to OutcomesÔ with the SAMSHA Strategic Prevention Framework to Achieve Results,” 2007
  • Identification of various gaps in information and resources to be addressed through select strategies
  • Coalition discussion of strategic planning priorities and activities, followed by staff incorporation of discussion items in identifying goals, defining objectives, and recommending strategies for Retail Access and Social Access intervening variables, plus development of Capacity Building strategies
  • Development of a Vision Statement derived from the goals and mission statement
  • Selection of strategies based on extensive discussions with Coalition members and chosen according to relevance to the intervening variables identified in the “Needs Assessment and Revisions,” agreement by coalition members, ability of the Alliance to provide the necessary resources, community readiness and capacity to implement, and ability to complete in the projected time-frame.  Development included completion of the RAND Goals Tool with completion of Outcome Questions:  what will change, for whom, by how much, when will the change occur, and how will it be measured
  • On-going development of Action Plans to help ensure strategy implementation
  • Identification of evaluation techniques for both process and outcomes
Goals/Objectives/Actions
Following review and discussion of the needs assessment, the members of the Travis County Alliance have determined that Retail Access, Social Access, and Social Norms are the prevailing intervening variables in Travis County according to the currently recorded data. Therefore our efforts will be directed towards mitigating the negative effects of these variables in an effort to reduce underage drinking. Evidence of the intervening variables as they present themselves in the community is identified as contributing factors in this document and in the logic model. Retail access is identified by compliance rate data, social access availability is identified in the PRIDE survey conducted at Westlake High School and through anecdotal data and regional data from the Texas School Survey, and social norms data from the PRIDE survey. The goals are to decrease illegal alcohol access to underage youth in social settings as well as decrease accessibility and availability to minors at retail outlets. The goal of the social norms strategy is to change the perceptions and norms within Westlake High School.
Goal #1: Social Access
In order to build community readiness and evaluate needed data areas, the Alliance will focus on a number of objectives around social access. Objectives include increasing the level of exposure around social access issues and social host laws, provide training and increase the number of party patrols, increase the number of students and adults receiving information about binge drinking and the law regarding social access, increase the number of college partnerships, and increase the amount of available college data. With the combined efforts, the Alliance hopes to decrease social access.
Actions: A media campaign will be created and implemented in Travis County targeted towards those adults who would provide alcohol to minors. The first target market is those 21-25 years old who might provide alcohol to their minor friends. The second target market is the older population from 40-60 who might provide alcohol to their children and their children’s friends. The media campaign will be designed and then disseminated in newspaper, radio, online, on taxicabs and in movie theatres. The timing of the release of the media campaign will coincide with the beginning of the upcoming secondary and college school years to last for a period of 12 weeks.
Goal #2: Retail Access
Due to clear and specific data, Alliance capacity and community readiness, retail access was selected as an intervening variable for the Alliance to address in Travis County. The overall goal around this effort is to decrease illegal alcohol access to underage youth in retail settings while increasing compliance check rates in Travis County.
Actions: The goal of addressing this intervening variable will be to increase the number of compliance checks identifying sales to females 16-18 years of age relative to sales of males, increase the number of signage regarding the law posted by retailers, and increase the number of compliance checks. The Alliance will also increase the number of retailers contacted in order to better educate licensed retail outlets about current laws in effect regarding serving/selling alcohol to minors.
Goal #3: Social Norms
The Alliance will attempt to change the social norms surrounding underage drinking by correcting incorrect perceptions regarding the illegal activity. The Eanes ISD has been chosen to partner with the Alliance to implement the social norms marketing campaign called Actuality. This program is based on Social Norms Theory that stipulates that much of people’s behavior is influenced by their perception of how others in their social circle behave and how acceptable the behavior is. This school district was chosen as the results of the PRIDE survey completed by the Eanes ISD showed that social norms were intervening variables that provided the data-driven basis  for being chosen by the Alliance and demonstrated the existence of community readiness.
Action: The Alliance has received approval from Austin ISD to conduct a survey and social norms campaign at Garza Independence High School. This alternative campus in east Austin is an open enrollment/open exit high school that removes traditional barriers to completion by offering a non-traditional approach to education. The social norms project with Garza will serve as a vital entree into potential future social norms projects with other Austin ISD campuses.

Evaluation/Performance Measures

The evaluation portion of the strategic plan tracks the reporting guidelines for performance measures laid out by the SPF SIG grant. Coalition members have established annual performance objectives that were designed to support one or more strategic goals described in this plan.  Each of the three long-term strategic goals will be addressed through short-term objectives that can be tracked and assessed.  Beginning with strategies addressing social access the performance measures are as follows:
  • Strong collaborative efforts evident in memorandums of agreements with coalition members and memorandums of understanding with other community agencies.
  • Coalition efforts evident in events related to preventing underage and binge drinking such as participation in Regional Forums
  • Increased community awareness through effective media campaigns – the marketing companies will be able to track exposure
  • Media campaigns can be measured by promoting the Travis County website as a local resource for information and tracking web site activity through website usage logs
  • Sign in sheets – from Coalition and Epi workgroup meetings
  • Resources in law enforcement mobilized and supported – measured through stings and dissemination of efforts
  • Number of prevention materials distributed
  • 140 Adults will receive information relating to social host laws
  • 80 Youth will receive information based on evidence-based practices
Second, strategies addressing retail access and the performance measures specific to these strategies are as follows:
  • Strong collaborative efforts evident in memorandums of agreements with coalition members and memorandums of understanding with other community agencies
  • Assist in collecting and analyzing data to better target specific low compliance retailers and alcohol outlets – target trouble spots – measured through dissemination efforts and high compliance data.
  • Provide information to retailers about responsible beverage service (RBS) and track the amount of retailers contacted.
  • Number of alcohol outlets notified about the availability of RBS training – letters sent will be tracked
  • Increased community awareness through effective media campaigns – the marketing companies will be able to track exposure
  • Work with law enforcement on creating a certificate for those retailers who are in compliance – performance will be measured by the amount of certificates sent out
  • Work with law enforcement on policy development for retail managers and servers – performance will be measured by the amount of retailers contacted
  • Number of meetings with stakeholders
  • 246 retailers will be contacted with this strategy
Finally, strategies to address social norms and the performance measures are as follows:
  • Strong collaborative efforts evident in memorandums of agreements with coalition members and memorandums of understanding with other community agencies
  • Letters to the editor written – measured in number of letters written
  • PSAs aired – measured by media contractors
  • Advertisements placed – measured by media contractors
  • Press releases issued – measured by release – Coalition Coordinator will track
  • 12 Prevention presentations given
  • 9 Media awareness activities  – coverage will be measured by marketing agency
  • A Coalition partner (Eanes Independent School District) will implement “Actuality” – a social norms campaign that has been used successfully by two other Texas Coalitions.  This program has an evaluation component written into it and will be tracked by the service providers. The providers contracted to implement the program will administer pre and post surveys as one means of measurement.  The Coalition’s evaluator will report on the results and findings from this initiative in the year-end evaluation summary.
  • The Alliance will administer pre and post surveys at Garza Independence High School under the direction of the Coalition’s evaluator to measure social norms campaign effectiveness.
All of the above performance measurements will be tracked using the RAND Fidelity Document forms  specific to the environmental strategy proposed.  The “planning tool” forms  will assist in listing the following:
1) component,
2) actions taken, and
3) anticipated output(s).
As the environmental strategies are implemented, tracking tools found in the RAND document will be discussed and shared with Coalition members.  Additional evaluation data will come from compliance and non-compliance data from TABC and the Travis County Sheriffs department, archival data from TABC and the Travis County Sheriffs Office, self-reported surveys, rates of alcohol-related crashes, injuries, fatalities in traffic accidents, rates of under 21 motor-vehicle crashes, and rates of youth DUI/DWI arrests and MIP rates.
Other data will be collected and analyzed from the following surveys: the Texas School Survey, the ESI survey, the PRIDE survey and the University of Texas survey for incoming freshman.  Self-reported alcohol use such as perceived likelihood of being caught driving with an illegal blood alcohol level; awareness of laws; binge drinking; and driving while intoxicated will be reviewed from the aforementioned surveys and findings disseminated in the final evaluation report.  Additionally, the places where alcohol was last purchased found on a DUI /DWI arrest forms and degree of support from merchants/alcohol outlets will also be part of the outcome evaluation report. Lastly, evaluation is an ongoing process; it tracks what the coalition does and how they do it.  The primary goal of the evaluation process is to improve and assist in the community-based efforts to better determine if strategies are having the intended impact on the target population.
Sustainability
Sustainability is the process of ensuring that positive outcomes can be maintained in communities. It is beyond building support for the strategy but maintaining the outcome as well. It is beyond fundraising and maintaining programs. It is the creating and maintaining of the prevention system. As stated by the Center for Civic Partnerships, “Sustainability is the continuation of community health or quality of life benefits over time.”
The Travis County Alliance recognizes the importance of sustainability and because of this has focused on planning in order to sustain the efforts of the coalition.  To build capacity while creating sustainability, the Alliance has established a high functioning Executive Committee; maintains at least 12 signed community agreements; and has begun developing operational guidelines.
The Travis County Alliance has existed since March 2007 when the Travis County Sherriff’s was awarded a grant to become the fiscal sponsor of a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG). The SPF SIG funded a community-based coalition to address binge drinking and alcohol related motor vehicle fatalities for persons ages 12-25. In 2008, the fiscal sponsor chose to not renew the grant and the Travis County Alliance, although lacking funding, held meetings, maintained membership and a mission focus. In July of 2008, the persistence paid off and Austin Community Foundation became fiscal sponsor of the Alliance and engaged Texans Standing Tall as the programmatic leads for the grant.  The Alliance continually seeks new opportunities for outreach and development as well as training and educational opportunities for coalition members.  The Alliance is also looking for ways to diversify funding
The Travis County Alliance currently has members who represent various sectors of the community. Currently, the Alliance employs a part-time Coalition Coordinator to support the Travis County Alliance members, a Community Liaison to assist in building membership and community recognition, and an evaluator to lead the Epidemiological Workgroup and continue to track and carry out ongoing assessment and evaluation.
To date, 17 membership agreements have been signed by coalition members. In addition to these committed members, Travis County Alliance has had representatives from:
The University of Texas – Austin
St. Edwards University
Phoenix House
Parent Teachers Association
Brown Distributing
Lifeworks
Texas Army National Guard
Oz White Associates Inc.
Eanes ISD,
and Disease of Addiction.
These representatives attend meetings and/or participate in email communications.
The Travis County Alliance is in the process of building organizational guiding documents, an executive committee and in addition to the executive committee, other working committees as they apply.
To continue building on the sustainability and capacity of the coalition we will work to build and maintain outreach efforts to include:
  • Meetings with local authorities to discuss our efforts and educate them about the state of underage drinking in Travis County,
  • Presentations to other local coalitions and organizations to recruit members and build recognition of the Travis County Alliance efforts around underage drinking
  • Partnering with organizations such as TABC to reduce the doubling of efforts and increase the reach and power of individual efforts around environmental strategies such as responsible beverage service
  • Partnering with Texans Standing Tall in applying for the Drug Free Communities Mentoring Grant for FY09/FY10.
To date, the Alliance members have had a SPF Overview Training completed by Nicole Holt from Texans Standing Tall, a Social Hosting presentation by Adriana Cadena from Rio Grande Safe Communities Coalition and has been invited to attend an Actuality Training with Eanes Independent School District. The Alliance meets on a monthly basis to discuss continued strategic planning efforts, ongoing outreach and membership efforts, and upcoming strategies. Epidemiological Workgroup meetings are also held on a monthly basis with reports back to the general monthly meetings. The Alliance is consistently seeking out new funding opportunities through local, state, and national grantors.
Cultural Competency
Cultural competency is the ability to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to enable administrators and practitioners with systems of care to provide for diverse populations. This includes an understanding of that group’s or member’s language, beliefs, norms, and values as well as socioeconomic and political factors that may have a significant impact on their wellbeing, and incorporating those variables into assessment and treatment (CSAP, 1993). It is also a set of academic and interpersonal skills that allow individuals to increase their understanding and appreciation of cultural differences and similarities within, among and between groups. This requires a willingness and ability to draw on community-based values, traditions, and customers and to work with knowledgeable persons of and from the community in developing focused interventions, communications, and other supports (Orlandi et.al., 1992).
The Travis County Alliance works to develop:
  • Resources that communicate with and reflect the attitudes and beliefs of the community
  • Membership/representations from sectors of the community
  • An understanding of the current demographic and faith traditions of the community
  • Strategies to identify and anticipate demographic and cultural changes in the community
The Travis County Alliance is always seeking new opportunities to educate staff and members about cultural competency in order to strive to be a culturally diverse and knowledgeable group. In doing so, they will work to attend health fairs where they will work to reach all members of the community and if they aren’t able to do so because of barriers such as language, they will work to develop a plan on how to overcome that barrier. They will seek out and attend trainings that are both face-to-face and distance learning opportunities. One-on-one information interviews will be scheduled with the current Alliance members in order to better assess representations and personal or professional interests of the group in order to better match activities to individuals and provide appropriate training for all involved. The Alliance will also seek out partnerships with community groups that represent multiple sectors of the community including fraternal and volunteer organizations, Chambers of Commerce targets at specific cultural groups, and professional groups.
The Alliance currently works to make all materials including handouts, informational documents, website, and correspondence reader friendly and without jargon language heard in the field of prevention. They will also be working on a media campaign in the spring/summer that will be focus tested to reach a specific audience.