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Program Development

Restorative Integral Support (RIS) is a flexible model that facilitates the development of "ACE-informed" programming. The RIS model facilitates a comprehensive approach that mobilizes resilience and recovery through social networks. By providing a map of how to pull together locally-available best practices and practitioner skills within an intentionally-created therapeutic community, RIS services can look different within unique agencies and contexts. Shared elements of RIS include:

  • A whole person approach

  • A culture of recovery and transformation

    • Staff articulate programming values and principles that pervade the culture and support the organizational mission
  • Agency leadership role models and supports staff self care

  • Staff provide role modeling and relationship building that helps create a therapeutic community for clients

    • Clients participate in peer social networks that provide mentoring and promote healthy development and behaviors

  • Policies and procedures create a "recovery-oriented" system of care that supports the culture of recovery / therapeutic community

  • Locally available best practices, evidence supported interventions (ESI), and emerging practices consistent with practitioner skills and client preferences are brought together within the context of the therapeutic community

    • Service linkages are created across agencies with services becoming increasingly integrated on-site

  • Integration within the community is achieved by contributing to community development through volunteerism and service provision within the community as well as incorporating volunteers and locally available services and best practice resources into agency programming

  • Service Outcomes Action Research provides a comprehensive evaluation approach that continually informs the RIS model

ACE-Informed Program Examples

The Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) employs the RIS model and demonstrates the way in which social networks can be intentionally developed to help people move forward and transform their lives, effectively breaking the ACE trajectory. Supported by the integration of available research, RIS also expands intervention options in a time of fewer resources. Service Outcomes Action Research (SOAR) can be enacted from an Integral perspective to generate data that continually informs the RIS model that supports ACE-informed programming.

LaSalle School promotes ACE, trauma, and brain science awareness among its staff, who then apply what they learn to improve services for adolescent males and their families (read more about LaSalle's approach in this news article). LaSalle also enacts SOAR and disseminates ACE knowledge on a larger scale through its role as a regional leader in brain science awareness.

Troy Housing Authority has developed the PE/ACE Project, which emphasizes the provision of "external protective factors" to facilitate community development that supports individuals and families across the lifespan.

Senior Hope Counseling, Inc., an outpatient clinic exclusively serving adults 50 and older with substance use challenges, uses patient ACE Scores to inform program development (click here to read more about Senior Hope's ACE-informed approach on the ACEs Connection website).

Program Development Tools and Resources