Historical Perspectives:

From DCCACD to CAPE (1987 to present)

The Council on Addiction Prevention and Education of Dutchess County Inc. (CAPE), formerly the Dutchess County Council on Alcoholism and Chemical Dependency (DCCACD), and an affiliate of the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency (NCADD) has been providing prevention services to Dutchess County since 1987. CAPE is licensed by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (NYS OASAS) and is measured by its adherence to those prevention guidelines.

The delivery of services began in 1987 with a state grant from the Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (DAAA) and STOP DWI. Collectively, these monies provided the basis for the introduction of prevention services to schools. These services were delivered by one community educator, one Executive Director, and a support person. Shortly thereafter, the Division of Substance Abuse Services (DSAS) began funding the agency. DAAA and DSAS merged in the early 1990s, and the funding was reduced by 50%. Contractual agreements between the agency and the school districts began with schools paying the full cost of the counselors. Staff was assigned to secondary schools to provide assessment, short-term counseling, and information and referral services targeting risk behaviors that lead to substance use disorder.

As mentioned above, the grant covered all expenses at the outset. With the 50% reduction in funding, DCCACD began receiving pass-through OASAS funding from the Department of Mental Hygiene, with an attached county share. At that time, the Council, with a defined OASAS budget, began the process of negotiating with the school districts to contract for continuing prevention services. The combination of the agency’s OASAS budget and the school’s federal grant monies provided the basis for funding to support the direct prevention services to the schools. This process remains in place today, except that funding for the schools has become increasingly challenging since 2008, forcing some school districts to limit outside contracting. At its peak, the Council was providing fee-for-service programs to seven – eight school districts. In 2014, that number declined to four (Dover, Hyde Park, Red Hook, and Wappingers) following the continuing reduction in the property tax cap which provides less in school taxes to fund local education.

The agency has seen three directors, including the present ED, who was appointed in August 2007.  At that time, the agency faced a $25,000 deficit, no fund balance, the agency’s first unannounced OASAS program and fiscal audit, the loss of Federal Drug-Free money, and a skeleton board of directors. By January 2008, the deficit was eliminated, corrective actions resulting from the audit were complete, and the board entered a rebuilding process. All policies and procedures were rewritten and staffing was reorganized. Legal counsel was retained. In 2009, formal board training occurred courtesy of the Dyson Foundation. As an outgrowth of that strategic planning process, the agency created an operational foundation called The Prevention Foundation of the Mid-Hudson Valley (PFMHV). This vehicle was developed to address the net deficit funding structure that continues with OASAS. A review of similar prevention agencies demonstrated the existence of complementary foundations. It is noted here that The Office of Mental Health and Office of Persons with Development Disabilities (OPWDD) eliminated the net deficit funding structure from their funding several years ago.

Prior to 2007, The Council enjoyed several grants that no longer exist: DAAA, DSAS, Drug-Free Communities, Smoke-Free Dutchess, State Incentive Cooperative Agreement, and RTATC. In the fall of 2008, the agency began to see a retraction of funding in response to the recession. Over the course of the next two years, the agency’s budget was compressed from a high of $1.2 million to a low of $684,023. In total, the loss of funding from 2008-2012 had reached $515,977 and counting. The loss of county funding money approached $300,000. To offset these losses, management cut operational expenses by two-thirds. In response to the recession beginning in 2009, the agency ended retirement for the staff, as well as cost of living adjustments. The retirement vehicle, a SEP-IRA, had been completely agency-funded. Performance-based pay was offered to each employee where the budget permitted. Every employee, with the exception of the ED, was awarded a minimum of one increase and in some cases, three over the course of the last several years (at a time when jobs elsewhere were being eliminated and no salary increase was the norm). These salary increases were tied to increasing outcome-based measures.  Employee contribution to health insurance remained a necessary benefit as determined by management and the board. With the escalating cost of health insurance, the agency has adjusted its contributions to employee healthcare. Rental costs have been reduced from a high of $2800 monthly to the current $1,095 per month. In the midst of the recession, management worked diligently to maintain jobs and continue to meet the standard of care that defines our reputation within and the communities that we serve.

In 2009, NYS OASAS premiered its revised prevention guidelines. Local providers receiving OASAS funding were obligated to meet these new guidelines which held agencies accountable for the provision of evidence-based programming (EBP). By January 1, 2009, licensed prevention providers were required to meet a minimum delivery of EBP of 35%. That percentage rose to 75% by 2017. These deliverables are measured monthly through the OASAS PARIS (now WITNYS) reporting system separate and apart from the county logic model reporting procedures.

For the last several years, the local government plan for Chemical Dependency has listed prevention as its first priority. CAPE has met and exceeded NYS OASAS guidelines and county objectives as outlined in the Local Government Plan (LGP) and the county contract. With adherence to the OASAS Guidelines, under the direction of the current management and supported by the governance of the board, CAPE continues to meet and in most cases exceed state and local requirements. The agency’s program and finances were audited by OASAS in 2013/2014 and again in June 2017. No significant deficiencies were noted in either category. As a result of the 2017 OASAS audit, CAPE was re-issued a three-year operational license. CAPE retains financial auditing and legal services for the protection of the board and the agency.

As of 2015, the Council remained a small not-for-profit 501(c)3 agency with a total staff of twelve; 7.6 of these positions are direct service. As per the 2017 OASAS EBP standard, CAPE’s primary prevention services currently stand at 76%, currently exceeding the OASAS 2017 standard. During the 2013 calendar year, CAPE provided 1,310 programs and served 81,850 people as reflected in our 2013 OASAS work plan and reported through the OASAS PARIS system. The County LGU supervises and approves the submission of this data to OASAS. CAPE’s broad programming has included the following:

  • Guiding Good Choices
  • Too Good for Drugs
  • Too Good for Violence
  • Project Success
  • TiPS Training
  • Teen Intervene Training
  • The Butt Stops Here
  • PATHS:  Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies
  • Project Northland
  • Moral Reconation Therapy
  • SBIRT:  Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment
  • Recovery Coaching
  • Victim Impact Panel
  • Professional Education for CASAC, CP
  • Specialized ATOD modules upon request
  • Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training (SAPST)
  • Alive at 25
  • Narcan Training

Prevention services delivered by CAPE reach every public school district in the county, several private schools, the campus coalition, and the college consortium consisting of Bard, DCC, the Culinary Institute, Marist, SUNY New Paltz, US Military Academy at West Point, and Vassar.

The Council, like all prevention providers throughout the state, follows the Strategic Prevention Framework. This model provides a framework that guides community mobilization that is best demonstrated through the work of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). In 1997, Congress enacted the Drug-Free Communities Act which created the Drug-Free Communities Support Program. This act funds coalitions to reduce youth substance use in their target communities. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) directs the DFC support program in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This grant requires coalitions to address two major goals:

  1. Establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, private nonprofit agencies, and federal, state, local, and tribal governments to support the efforts of community coalitions to prevent and reduce substance use among youth
  2. Reduce substance use among youth and adults over time, by addressing the factors in a community that minimize the risk of substance use

Prior to the appointment of the current Executive Director, the agency’s DFC grant was not renewed. The Council had been the lead agency for this grant which dates back to 2002. The evaluation attached to this grant sought to answer the following questions:

  1. What impact has the DFC funding/program made on reducing substance use outcomes at the community, state, and national levels?
  2. To what degree have DFC coalitions increased their capacity to collaborate within the community?
  3. What are the characteristics of the most successful DFC grantees?

With the loss of year six of the DFC grant, the new ED set out to understand the challenges that lead to the lack of sustainability for the Southern Dutchess Coalition-Choices for Change. That led to training in the Strategic Prevention Framework and CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America). Armed with an understanding of the task at hand, the new ED began to rebuild the Southern Dutchess Community Coalition absent large-scale funding to support this initiative. After four years of sustainable growth, this coalition elected to reapply for years six through ten of the DFC. The coalition was awarded this grant in 2014.

The four core measures used to track success in this program are:

  1. The average age of onset-the average age that respondents report first trying alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana.
  2. Past 30-day use – the percentage of respondents who report regular use of alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana has moderate or great risk. Regular use for alcohol is defined as one or two drinks of an alcoholic beverage (beer wine, liquor). Regular use of tobacco is defined as one or more packs of cigarettes per day. Regular use of marijuana is not defined.
  3. Perception of Risk – the percentage of respondents who report that regular use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana has moderate or great risk.
  4. Perception of Parental Disapproval – the percentage of respondents who report that their parents feel the use of alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana is wrong or very wrong. Use of alcohol is defined as REGULAR use. Use of tobacco is defined as ANY use. Use of marijuana is defined as ANY use.

In order to accurately assess and identify risk factors, the four core measures must be collected using an approved survey instrument.

The framework described above has become the vehicle for research-based community mobilization to reduce youth risk factors and ultimately substance misuse/disorder in general. The DFC grant had been an infusion of $125,000 per year. The loss of that funding in 2007 eliminated a coordinator for that continuing effort, survey capability, materials, and supplies necessary for program support and related administrative costs. These resources were returned to the agency with the 2014 DFC funding.

In 2008, NYS OASAS conducted a statewide risk and protective survey and invited CAPE to assist with the outreach to secure participating Dutchess County schools. CAPE solicited the participation of three public school districts within the county and connected those districts to OASAS. The school district’s participation was contingent upon a fall administration of the survey given the heavy state testing schedule that occurs in schools in the spring. OASAS fell short of its promise to deliver the survey in the fall, and Dutchess County Schools elected not to participate. The loss of that opportunity left CAPE with no opportunity for research-based data collection as recommended by OASAS. A continuing decline in revenue in the face of an unprecedented recession complicated CAPE’s ability to meet this unfunded mandate.

With all of this in mind, the Executive Director applied for and received a grant from the Foundation for Community Health based in Sharon, Connecticut. The Request for Funding proposal targeted prevention work in the Northeast section of the county; namely Eastern Dutchess. CAPE was awarded the grant in 2009. The deliverables for the grant were:

  1. Survey public schools in Eastern Dutchess within the geographic parameters of the grant (Dover, Pine Plains, and Webutuck).
  2. Begin to build a sustainable coalition based on the proven DFC model.

Both of those deliverables were met. In addition, in the spirit of community collaboration discussed in the CADCA model, CAPE was able to obtain monies from Pawling to include that district in the survey. Furthermore, with a small grant from the Youth Bureau, CAPE was able to include Red Hook and Rhinebeck in the survey. Finally, CAPE was able to negotiate with Wappingers to participate in the survey.  Eighth, tenth, and twelfth-grade students were surveyed per the requirements of the Four Core Measures:  data to be collected for at least three grades between grades six and twelve. In total, CAPE was able to survey seven county school districts by December 2010. The final aggregate data was received in March of 2011. The total number of youth surveyed; 4050, stood as the largest number of Dutchess County youth sampled with an approved risk and protective instrument. The schools participating in the survey were:  Dover, Pawling, Pine Plains, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Wappingers, and Webutuck. CAPE contacted every district in the county to participate, but several either did not respond or declined the opportunity. In 2015, CAPE with the financial backing of the county, engaged the participation of 11 out of the 13 public school districts in Dutchess. In collaboration with SUNY New Paltz, the administration shifted from a paper and pencil test to a computerized survey. SUNY New Paltz collected the data and issued CAPE a report. In addition, CAPE requested a Trend Analysis of all existing archival youth survey data pertaining to Dutchess. The results mirror the national trends reflected in Monitoring the Future. Dutchess youth self-report incremental decreases in alcohol use, a large perception of harm associated with tobacco use, low use of opiates, and stabilized marijuana use. In the 2017 administration of the youth survey, all 13 public schools signed MOU’s to participate in the assessment. Due to administrative school-based vacancies, two school districts were unable to participate. The next administration of the survey will be in 2019.

With the introduction of the survey, the Eastern Dutchess Coalition (presently known as the Eastern Dutchess Community Coalition: End Overdose) was born. True to the DFC model, there is a defined pathway to building coalitions: assessment, capacity building, planning, implementation, and evaluation held together with building sustainability and cultural competence. Following those guidelines, CAPE secured the services at no cost to the agency from the newly created Mid-Hudson Prevention Resource Center. CAPE, funded by OASAS, came in to train the coalition over the course of several months. This same effort was duplicated in Northern Dutchess where there is a robust group of committed community members who identify as the Northern Dutchess Community Coalition.

The seven strategies to achieve community change are as follows:

  1. Provide information: CAPE developed and keeps updated the comprehensive human resources directory resulting from an OASAS co-location grant and serves as an information and referral provider
  2. Enhance skills: CAPE is an NYS OASAS licensed professional training provider and Drug-Free Prevention Provider
  3. Provide support: CAPE provides opportunities to participate in activities that reduce risk or enhance protection such as SADD groups, COA groups, support groups, the Marathon Project, the Victim Impact Panel, Teen Driving, and Town Forums. Additionally, Student Assistance Counselors and Prevention Educators assist with the development of a comprehensive roster of relevant speakers. CAPE also supplied the county with the expertise of an intern to translate the county budget survey into Spanish.
  4. Enhance access/reduce barriers:  Establish a comprehensive student assistance program in local
    high schools. During the 2011-2102 school year CAPE delivered services to the following school districts: Dover, Hyde Park, Pine Plains, Red Hook, Wappingers, and Webutuck.
  5. Change consequences (incentives/disincentives):  CAPE sponsored, along with the Dutchess County Administrators’ Association, The Prom Dress Drive in Eastern Dutchess Schools, during the 2012 prom season, delivering the message… “Get Dressed Up Not Messed Up.” School districts contracting with student assistance are assisted with pre-prom assemblies, post post-prom events. Additionally, during the spring of each year, CAPE collaborates with every public school district (excluding Poughkeepsie as they do not offer student parking) in the county and offers Teen Driving: A Family Affair. This event includes the expertise of a representative of the District Attorney’s office, a medical and insurance professional, and the victim and/or perpetrator of a DWI tragedy. In 2012, CAPE entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Town of East Fishkill, the East Fishkill Police, the East Fishkill Town Court, and the Wappingers Central School District to provide an evidence-based intervention, Teen Intervene, for adolescents who are students within the Wappingers Central School District and find themselves before the East Fishkill Court for substance-related crimes. Negotiations are underway in Dover and Red Hook to provide this same intervention strategy.
  1. Physical design:  CAPE provides school districts with tobacco signage, solicits the donation of a new website, offers written information upon request, paid for the design and placement of four billboards countywide with prevention messaging targeting alcohol and prescription drugs.
  2. Modifying/changing policies:  CAPE secured the Tobacco Free Schools Policy Grant that worked with schools in Dutchess and Putnam to modify and change tobacco policies in Brewster, Dover, Haldane, Hyde Park, Millbrook, Red Hook, and Wappingers. CAPE collaborated with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office in 2010 to secure the NYS OASAS Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws, which paid for law enforcement staffing to conduct sobriety checkpoints and point-of-sale reviews.

Since 2007, CAPE has firmly aligned itself with the NYS OASAS Prevention Guidelines, the Strategic Prevention Framework, and the CADCA model for community change. CAPE has accomplished these achievements with:

  • a loss of income
  • increased board participation
  • the establishment of a Prevention Foundation to begin to build an alternative source of financial support
  • a growing number of school districts who  participate in the Dutchess County Youth Survey (11 out of 13 in 2017)
  • the development and facilitation of three coalitions: Eastern, Northern and Southern Dutchess
  •  the creation of the first parent support group in Dutchess County for parents of substance-affected adolescents and young adults
  • the added responsibility of the chair position of the OASAS Community of Practice  (Mid-Hudson regional Community of Practice) encompassing Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties
  • the added responsibility of membership in the NYS OASAS work group for special needs populations resulting in the piloting of Positive Action through CAPE’s prevention educators
  • the introduction of a county-wide youth health rally reaching 1500 9th-grade students in 2017

As of 2017, CAPE has returned operating revenue to its pre-recession levels revenue. In the face of a weak economy, intense scrutiny from local government, and rising unfunded mandates, CAPE has demonstrated the creativity and resilience to meet continuing challenges.

Accomplishments in support of continued growth are as follows:

  • SAMHSA Service to Science Award. The Marathon Project was one of twenty- six programs selected nationally to participate in this technical assistance aimed at achieving evidence-based status on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).
  • Drug-Free Communities grantee on behalf of the Southern Dutchess Community Coalition. This grant was received in the fall of 2014.
  • United Way Grantee in support of the Marathon Project.
  • Foundation of Community Health Grantee in support of Eastern Dutchess Community Coalition, Community Education, and Recovery Coaching.
  • Delivery of multiple/ongoing community forums to increase public awareness surrounding youth risk and protective behaviors.
  • Dyson Foundation grantee in support of the Marathon Project.
  • NYS OASAS Project Demonstration Grantee to address the opioid problem among reentry populations. Received March 20, 2015.
  • NYS OASAS Peer Engagement Specialist Grant for Hospital Emergency Rooms serving Dutchess and Putnam Counties
  • Additional County monies of $27,500 in support of evidence-based prevention work to address substance use among adolescents and young adults.
  • Sarah Burrows, LMHC, CASAC-T Prevention Supervisor School-Based Project Success Program awarded NYS OASAS LMHC of the Year in 2013.
  • Elaine Trumpetto, M.A. Executive Director, CAPE awarded NYS OASAS Commissioner’s Award for Prevention Services, 2014.
  • Brynna Trumpetto, B.A. selected to represent the Southern Dutchess Community Coalition on the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission Ad Hoc Committee to review the evidence-based curriculum for Alive at 25.

CAPE is currently in discussion with all local, public school district superintendents to increase participation in the county-wide youth survey. The ultimate goal is to have the participation of 100% of Dutchess County Public Schools.

CAPE continues to lead the county in educational forums. Thousands of Dutchess County residents have attended our forums meant to inform and educate and thereby build community awareness.

The Southern Dutchess Community Coalition has been embarking on a comprehensive youth media campaign funded by DFC and FCH and utilizing all forms of media: print, radio, digital, and TV. This effort will target Eastern and Southern Dutchess. In 2016, the SDCC launched the first county-wide Youth Health Rally welcoming 1200 ninth-grade students from schools throughout the county.

The NYS OASAS Demo grant delivered a comprehensive human resources directory currently available and in its second review/edit. Additionally, this funding targets individuals throughout the Mid Hudson region facing the challenges associated with substance use disorder issues with an emphasis on opioids by providing case-management services through a recovery coach/peer model.

The Marathon Project has submitted its application to the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) for inclusion in its approved curriculum database.

Lastly, CAPE has convened a group of Dutchess stakeholders that remain in conversation with NYS OASAS regarding the exploration of a Recovery High School and begun the development of a recovery collaborative to hopefully build regional efficiencies in the delivery of peer services throughout Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties.

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