Date of Conferral



Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)




Mark Arcuri


Providing quality services that meet the needs of clients is key to organizational sustainability for behavioral health organizations. Strategic development of substance prevention programs for at-risk youth will play an important role in capacity building. The focus of this study was to identify the need for developing a targeted and effective substance abuse prevention program to support at-risk youth who have trauma experiences before they begin misusing substances to cope with their challenges. The Baldrige excellence framework was used to guide this descriptive case study of a behavioral health organization in the Northeastern region of the United States. The data sources were an interview with the behavioral health agency’s executive director, organizational websites, government websites, and data from a review of academic literature. Findings indicated a trauma-informed substance prevention program for at-risk youth would address the BHA’s practice problem. Recommendations based on findings include development and implementation of program and doing so in phases over the span of 1 year. This study may contribute to positive social change through reduction in the alcohol and opioid epidemic, crime, homelessness, and recidivism. At-risk youth will develop positive social skills and resiliency, leading to increased positive outcomes.