Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Catholic Social Services: Lakota Circles of Hope

Developed by Catholic Social Services in collaboration with the Institute for Educational Leadership and Evaluation, Lakota Circles of Hope is delivered to second through fifth grade students living on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Indian Reservations in South Dakota. The key elements of the program include smudging, talking circles, modeling, role playing, storytelling, and arts and crafts. The primary prevention curriculum model used is based on the Lakota value system. It includes age- and grade level-appropriate lessons covering topics of decision-making, peer-pressure, alcohol, other drugs, violence, establishing healthy boundaries, and creating a safety plan.

During the 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 school years, approximately 1000 students and their parents or guardians participated in Lakota Circles of Hope. Evaluation documented, from pre- to post-implementation, participant changes in attitudes and behaviors related to substance abuse, violence, premature sexual activity, and improved self-efficacy, as well as highlighted modifications required for program improvement.

With support from SAMHSA’s Service to Science Subcontract to Build Evaluation Capacity for Evidence-based Interventions, Catholic Social Services hopes to enhance current evaluation activities by developing and implementing a fidelity monitoring process that employs external observation of lessons as they are delivered in school settings, implementing an evaluation design that uses comparison school sites to rule out alternative explanations for positive changes from pre- to post-assessment, and by developing improved methods for presenting evaluation findings to various audiences, including Lakota parents and educators.

 

Contact

Jim Kinyon
Executive Director
Catholic Social Services
918 5th Street
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701
Phone: (605) 348-6086
jkinyon@rapidnet.com

Joanne Beare
Program Director
Catholic Social Services
918 5t Street
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701
Phone: (605) 348-6086
jbeare@rapidnet.com