The first Blueprints book was published in 1997, and the first Blueprints Advisory Board meeting, where the final certification of Blueprints programs occurs, was held in 1998. The Blueprints reputation and repertoire of programs grew with funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), provided to replicate these model Blueprints programs nationwide. With 12 years of funding, Blueprints replicated eight of the model programs in 50 sites nationwide, and provided one of the drug prevention programs, LifeSkills Training, to another 105 school districts, representing 432 schools.
In March 2006, Blueprints held its first conference, subsequently to be held every two years. This conference brings together program developers and practitioners, as well as others interested in ensuring that the programs available to our future generation work and provide positive results.
The first Blueprints conference provided the impetus in 2006 for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to provide five years of funding for the evaluation of two of the Blueprints promising programs in hopes of moving these programs to model program status. The two programs chosen were CasaStart and Good Behavior Game. Randomized controlled trials were mounted, but unfortunately, neither program achieved the outcomes that had been so successfully shown in prior research. Some negative outcomes in the CasaStart evaluation actually led to its removal from the Blueprints Promising list.
Blueprints received funding from Altria Client Services, the parent company of Philip Morris, in March 2009, to take LifeSkills Training (LST), a Blueprints Model drug prevention program, to scale. With replication sites in 15 states, Blueprints has served 359,593 "individual" students as of July 2016. Each cohort of students receives LST for three years. Based upon this work, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is providing a five-year grant in July 2017 to scale up and monitor fidelity of the LST program in the state.
Blueprints for Violence Prevention rebranded as Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development with funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. This funding also allowed Blueprints to continue the search for effective programs, while expanding the scope of programs to include academic success, emotional and physical health, and positive relationships.
Blueprints expanded again with funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation which began in July 2016, with the express purpose of finding programs that would prevent adult crime recidivism.
Blueprints has also had smaller grants to provide information on evidence-based programs for the Louisiana Models for Change Initiative funded by the MacArthur Foundation. Additionally, Blueprints received funding to adapt a model program (Functional Family Therapy) to determine whether this effective Blueprints model violence prevention program could work for gang prevention. The outcomes of this evaluation should be available in 2018.
As we continue to evolve the Blueprints Program, we are optimistic about what the future holds for our organization. With your support and input, we are confident that we will continue to raise the standards for healthy youth development programs across the country and beyond.
Director, Blueprints Initiative
Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence
Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado Boulder