Category Archives: ADEPIS/CAYT News

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NEW Evidence Guidelines for the CAYT Database of Impact Studies

The importance of evidence

“Evidence-based” practice – meaning “best practice” or “with well-supported evidence” – is a crucial element in policy development and the implementation of programmes in the prevention field. When selecting prevention programmes for young people, policy makers, practitioners and health and education professionals need easy access to reliable and independently validated information. It is therefore necessary to clearly establish “what works,” as well as what counts as good evidence. That means drafting well-defined standards in order to classify the levels of evidence-based research. Intervention programmes showing relevant effectiveness and rigorous methodologies have to be highlighted within the community of (evidence-based) practice within the prevention field.

A well supported evidence-based intervention programme is usually comprised of two components: a strong magnitude of impact, along with a fair and rigorous methodological approach (Nation et al., 2003). In other words, there has to be causal relationship between implementation of the programme and outcomes of the intervention.

Measuring and classifying the impact of an intervention, according to the existing scoring system, is relatively objective. On the other hand, when it comes to classifying the rigour and types of evidence, the methodological complexity and variables of research design have to be considered, making it more difficult to fairly assign an evidence grade to the evaluation of programmes.

In 2015 we developed the new guidelines of CAYT repository of impact studies to help those delivering alcohol and drug education and prevention programmes ensure the most impact and effectiveness from their delivery.

Have your programme assessed by the CAYT team

If you would like to see your programme listed in the CAYT database, please return your completed application form and a signed copy of the Terms of Agreement to Richard Lynas via email at


CAYT Scoring Application Form

CAYT Terms of Agreement (coming soon)


Press release: Supporting children and young people’s transitions through risk prevention

Mentor received joint Government funding for an additional year to further embed expert advice and develop evidence-based tools for local practice in prevention and education.

As part of the Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS),  Mentor will be managing and further developing the Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions (CAYT), to ensure existing evidence-based and effective preventative programmes reach the mainstream educational settings. The new website is being launched today, Monday 13 April 2015.

As the transitionary period between childhood and adulthood has grown, youth engagement in a range of positive and negative risky behaviours has increased and the education and labour market options faced by young people have changed dramatically. The work of organisations like Mentor, which focuses on harm prevention and early support, is becoming increasingly critical, as is the further development and application of programmes supported by robust evidence.

Quote from Michael O’Toole, Chief Executive at Mentor:

“CAYT is a natural addition to Mentor’s work because of its evidence-based programmes that focus on universal and targeted, age-appropriate prevention and support. At Mentor, we believe that this approach is the best way to build protective factors around young people so that they are able to thrive, free from the harms of alcohol and drugs. Mentor has worked with youth services, schools and families for 17 years to provide early support and preventative programmes rooted in the best international evidence available. By integrating CAYT into ADEPIS, we will continue to offer programmes and services with proven effectiveness in building resilience to risky behaviours in young people.”

Evidence-based practice: a national priority

There has been an increasing national focus on recognising the need for evidence-based prevention and early intervention. Building resilience and character in young people, the promotion of social and emotional learning in formal and non-formal education settings, and improving the teaching quality of Personal, Social, Health, and Economic (PSHE) education in schools are becoming ever more important in shaping government strategies and priorities.

In a time where PSHE education is not a statutory entitlement, it is crucial that services like Mentor-ADEPIS become a source of centralised support and guidance to further establish and sustain the highest quality alcohol and drug education and prevention in schools nationwide.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) highlighted the ineffectiveness of drug education and prevention methods when not based on robust evidence and good practice, and emphasised the need to invest in, and further develop, evidence-based practice through high quality evaluation and research.

Mentor-ADEPIS role

Mentor-ADEPIS will continue to be the key provider of ‘information of the evidence of effectiveness of […] prevention programmes and activities’.[1]

Alcohol and drug use is only one among the many risks that young people may encounter as they grow up, and it is often related to other social, personal and cultural risk factors. Mentor-ADEPIS, through CAYT expertise will promote best practice aimed at reducing risky behaviours, increasing protective factors, building resilience, and promoting positive social norms.

About Mentor-ADEPIS

The Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service(ADEPIS) is a platform for sharing information and resources aimed at schools, practitioners working in alcohol and drug education and prevention, and a growing range of other settings for reaching young people. Since launched in 2013, ADEPIS has become acknowledged as the leading source of evidence based information and resources for alcohol and drug education and prevention.

The Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions (CAYT) is a repository of evidence-based information and quality-assured studies that assess the impact of programmes centred on the transitions made by young people.

To find out more please email


[1] Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) report on the prevention of alcohol and drug dependence

The Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions – ADEPIS

The Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions initially sponsored by the Department for Education and led by the Institute for Fiscal Studies came to an end in 2013.

We are now pleased to announce that the research centre will, from April 2015, be integrated within, and further developed through the Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS).

ADEPIS received joint Government funding to further embed expert advice and develop evidence-based tools for local practice in prevention and education.

At present, all existing CAYT related Impact Studies and reports have been transferred to the current website, from which you can search according to publication type, research area, and other criteria.

Between April 2015 and March 2016 we aim to:

  • Deliver regional seminars aimed at exploring existing CAYT programmes, benefits, and opportunities for implementation. This will provide practitioners with a better understanding of existing programmes, resources needed for implementation and delivery, as well as the opportunity to gather useful information by meeting programme developers and potential commissioners who already implemented/trialled the programmes in the past.
  • Undertake quality assessment of programme evaluations for newly developed programmes to be added to the CAYT repository.

For further information, please email