Evaluation of the In Touch Training Program for the Management of Alcohol and Other Drug Use Issues in Schools
Faculty of Education and Arts
Kurongkurl Katitjin, Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications
In Touch is a professional training program designed to develop staff skills and support structures so as to enable schools to manage alcohol and other drug (AOD) matters in a coordinated manner that maximizes beneficial outcomes for at-risk students, while at the same time maintaining school discipline and community relationships. This study is an evaluation of the impact of the program on alcohol and other drug (AOD) related knowledge, attitudes and activity of participating school staff, and on AOD management practice in their schools. Data from 53 intervention participants and 21 controls were compared at pre- and post-intervention. These data indicated a 46% increase in AOD knowledge among those who participated in In Touch training. Attitudes favorable to integrated, supportive management of AOD issues also increased significantly in this group, as did desirable practice. However, change in school practice was limited. Significantly more schools whose staff participated in In Touch training had a written drug policy at post-intervention, but schools' usual responses to AOD-related incidents were substantially the same. These findings indicate that professional training on the management of AOD matters can change the understanding and practice of individual staff, but if school structures and practice are to be substantially influenced, a broader program is required.