Residential Student Assistance Program (RSAP)
Note: The RSAP program was not responsive to the CEBC's inquiry. The following information was obtained from publicly available sources.
Residential Student Assistance Program (RSAP) has been rated by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:
About This Program
Target Population: High-risk multiproblem youth ages 12 to 18 years who have been placed voluntarily or involuntarily in a residential child care facility (e.g., foster care facility, treatment center for adolescents with mental health problems, juvenile correctional facility)
RSAP is designed to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug (AOD) use among high-risk multiproblem youth ages 12 to 18 years who have been placed voluntarily or involuntarily in a residential child care facility (e.g., foster care facility, treatment center for adolescents with mental health problems, juvenile correctional facility). Based on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) model, the intervention focuses on wellness and addresses factors that hinder adolescents from being free from AOD use, such as emotional problems and mental disabilities, parental abuse and neglect, and parental substance abuse. The program is delivered in residential facilities by Master's-level counselors who use a combination of strategies, including assessment of each youth entering the facility, an eight-session prevention education series, group and/or individual counseling for youth who have chemically dependent parents and/or are using substances, and referral to substance abuse treatment programs. These services are delivered over 20-24 weeks and are fully integrated into the adolescent's overall experience at the residential facility. The counselors also conduct facility-wide awareness activities, provide training and consultation on AOD prevention to facility staff, and lead a task force for staff and one for residents, both of which aim to change the facility's culture and norms around substance use and facilitate referrals to the program.
Education and Training Resources
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
This program is rated a "3 - Promising Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The practice must have at least one study utilizing some form of control (e.g., untreated group, placebo group, matched wait list study) establishing the practice's benefit over the placebo, or found it to be comparable to or better than an appropriate comparison practice. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.
Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being
Morehouse, E., & Tobler, N. S. (2000). Preventing and reducing substance use among Institutionalized adolescents. Adolescence, 35(137), 1-28.
Type of Study: Quasi-experimental, pretest/posttest nonequivalent/nonrandomized comparison group study
Number of Participants: 387
- Age — 13-19
- Race/Ethnicity — 59% Black or African American, 26% Hispanic or Latino, 9% White, 6% Race/ethnicity unspecified.
- Gender — 83% Male
- Status — Participants were drawn from several adolescent residential facilities: three foster care sites for abused, neglected, orphaned, or troubled adolescents, a nonsecure facility for adjudicated juvenile offenders, a treatment center for teens with severe psychiatric problems, and a locked county correctional facility.
Location/Institution: Residential facilities in New York State, including facilities for children in foster care, juvenile offenders, and youth with severe psychiatric problems.
Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The Residential Student Assistance Program, serving high-risk, multi-problem, inner-city, primarily African-American and Latino youth, was evaluated for its ability to prevent and decrease alcohol and other drug use. Measures included the Community-Oriented Programs Environment Scale (COPES) and a revised version of the Monitoring the Future questionnaire. This evaluation documented the program's effectiveness in both preventing and reducing substance use among participants, with impact related to program dosage. Qualitative process data clarified and strengthened confidence in the quantitative outcomes. Limitations include the lack of a randomized design and a relatively high attrition rate.
Length of postintervention follow-up: Not Specified
Student Assistance Services Corp. (n.d.). Residential Student Assistance Program: Implementation manual. Tarrytown, NY: Author.
Student Assistance Services Corp. (n.d.). Residential Student Assistance Program: Preventing and reducing substance abuse in residential facilities [VHS]. Ardsley, NY: Author.
Student Assistance Services Corp. (n.d.). Residential Student Assistance Program: Resource manual. Tarrytown, NY: Author.
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: August 2016
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2010
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2010