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Residential Student Assistance Program (RSAP)

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The Residential Student Assistance Program (RSAP) is designed to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug (AOD) use among high-risk multi-problem 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 masters-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.