Congratulations on your 2023 TPP award!
- 6-Month free online review copies of Love Notes, Relationship Smarts PLUS, and/or Mind Matters Instructors’ Manuals.
- 10 free copies of Love Notes, Relationship Smarts PLUS, and/or Mind Matters Participant Journals
- A Dibble Staff Specialist attending your community review meetings via zoom, as we have availability.
- Access to our library of free webinars and case studies on program implementation and evaluation
Here are three reasons to review Love Notes, Relationship Smarts PLUS, and/or Mind Matters for implementation in your TPP Tier 1 grant:
Dibble programs are engaging, powerful evidence based tools to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for youth.
A randomized control trial in Louisville found that 12 months after completing the program young people from the Love Notes intervention were 46% less likely to become pregnant or cause a pregnancy than the control group.
Love Notes is the only program on the OAH list of Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs with 5 or more positive outcomes. (LIST)
- Girls in the control group were almost two times more likely to have sex without a condom compared to the girls in the RSP group.
- Girls in the RSP group were almost two and a half times less likely to be in an unhealthy relationship (defined as their partner keeping them from seeing friends, making them feel stupid, potentially hurting them) than the control group.
The evaluation of Mind Matters conducted by Becky Antle and her colleagues identified the following benefits of program participation:
- Youth participants in the Mind Matters program demonstrated a significant improvement in several PTSD symptoms (e.g., looking out for danger and ignoring feelings) from pre- to post-program completion. As noted in Song & Qian’s 2020article (pages 5-6) “PTSD symptoms are associated with sexual risk-taking (i.e., sexual initiation, multiple sexual partners, unprotected sex).”
- Youth participants in the Mind Matters program also demonstrated significant improvement in trauma coping skills (e.g., self-regulation practices such as focused breathing and empathetic listening) from pre- to post-program completion. Per Song & Qian’s 2020 article (pages 6-7), “youth assets (e.g., self-regulation skills) are associated with less sexual risk-taking.”
- Antle and colleagues also found trending improvements in social competence behaviors (e.g., pro-social, respectful interactions with others) and emotion regulation behaviors (e.g., paying attention to emotions, maintaining control over behaviors when upset). In a study by Lando-King and colleagues (2015), inter- and intrapersonal skills and ability to manage stress were associated with fewer sexual partners as well as more consistent condom usage in a sample of adolescent girls. Additionally, Hessler & Katz (2010)found that difficulties with emotion regulation were associated with more sexual partners. This demonstrated correlation suggests that by targeting behavioral aspects such as social competence and emotion regulation, Mind Matters will also subsequently impact youth’s sexual risk-taking behaviors.
Dibble programs are firmly rooted in principles of positive youth development.
Below is an expounded list of how our programs are aligned with positive youth development approaches.
- Love Notes 4.0 Positive Youth Development
- Relationship Smarts PLUS 5.0 – Positive Youth Development
- Mind Matters – Positive Youth Development
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Dibble's Program Content and Outcomes
The Dibble Institute uses innovative approaches in our EBPs to achieve sexual and reproductive health along with positive youth development and social-emotional learning outcomes with youth who have been historically underserved. Our programs have been developed with youth who face challenges in their lives as the focus. Our developers consult with and teach these youth first-hand to fine tune the materials to meet their needs. We employ a strengths-based approach that empowers young people to gain agency in their lives.
We approach these young people with a sense of humility. They often face many challenges – economic, educational, health, safety, and more – in their lives often due to historic racism and other cultural factors. Our question is not “What’s wrong with you?” but rather, “What happened to you?” Changing the trajectory of their lives is a goal of many high-needs young people but they simply don’t know how to get to where they want to be.
Our programs focus on equipping higher-needs young people with the knowledge, tools, and skills to build agency around their intimate and other important relationships. We provide the skills and guidance for the young people to adopt into their own lives and circumstances.
Evaluation results confirm the benefits of this approach. African-American urban teens in Louisville who were taught Love Notes were 46% less likely to become pregnant at a year post-instruction than the control group. In a study of Relationship Smarts PLUS (RSP), at three years post instruction girls who did not take the program were more than twice as likely to not use a condom during sex over the prior ninety days than girls who did take RSP. System-involved youth who took the Mind Matters classes showed a significant decrease in PTSD symptoms and a significant increase in trauma coping skills.
These strong outcomes, thanks to Dibble’s innovative, engaging approaches, have helped organizations advance equity and give opportunities to the historically underserved youth they serve, which helps them achieve optimal health.
Our aim is to reduce barriers to participating in a Dibble program so more young people can benefit from gaining agency in their intimate relationships. As a result, we offer clients flexibility in how our programs are taught. So long as the core content is covered by a Dibble Certified Educator and each student has their own participant journal, classes may be taught online, in-person, or via a hybrid model. Classes may be taught daily, weekly, or again, as a combination of the two. Some clients find that a “camp” model where multiple lessons are taught in one day works best for them. Classes can be taught in schools that have regular 45-50 minute classes or 90 minute block schedules.
At Dibble we believe that our classes are best taught in the way that will allow the most young people to gain from the knowledge, skills, and tools in our programs.
Our programs have been successfully delivered in many settings including juvenile justice, child welfare, residential, and schools (middle, high, alternative, charter). Students in rural, suburban, and urban communities have engaged with the content.
We encourage cultural adaptations to our materials. These include changing the videos (with developer permission), photos on the slides, names, scenarios to more closely approximate those you are serving. All participant materials plus the Trusted Adult Connection activities have been translated into Spanish. We welcome inquiries about additional translations to reach more youth.
Our programs were written to be very inclusive of LGBTQ+ youth. Our programs do not assume the gender of a young person’s partner. Our authors have written the materials to be inclusive of diverse youth because you never know who may be in the group you are teaching. As a result, our materials are currently being successfully used with LGBTQ+ youth in group settings specifically for LGBTQ+ youth, whether out of school time or in a residential setting.
Overall, we see great benefits to youth to getting smart about their love lives. These include better sexual and reproductive health outcomes, greater agency, and mental well-being. As a result, we make every effort to reduce barriers to participation.
Please feel free to consult with our team to brainstorm how best to reach populations who have been historically underserved.
The Office of Population Affairs expects grantees to:
Dibble programs have been proven to address the needs of many different kinds of young people in multiple settings including those facing significant disparities. For instance, participants in the RCT of Love Notes in Louisville were primarily (86%) inner city, African American adolescdents.
Check out our case studies of Dibble clients working with young people leading challenging lives using:
The Dibble Institute is committed to your project’s success! During your planning period we will support you as you conduct your needs assessment and EBP final determination. We can provide content and implementation experts to come alongside you as you work with your community and potential partners. We will also make a complimentary kit of materials available to help your community and youth verify the best EBP for your setting.
The Dibble Institute has replicated relationship skills programs to scale across multiple states and within distinct communities. Whether you use your own staff to facilitate or you utilize existing school or partner agency staff using the Dibble Saturation Model, we are happy to share our best practices with you for cost-effective, high-quality implementation approaches.
All Dibble’s programs include annotated PowerPoints, fidelity logs, and other tools to assure that your facilitators stay on track. They can be used by the teacher to report on their progress and they can also be used as an observation tool. Ask us for a sample!
The Dibble Institute believes in the importance of using trauma-informed and positive youth development approaches in creating our materials. As a result, our programs are written through a trauma-informed and strengths-based lens.
Throughout our curricula you can find tips on reducing, recognizing, addressing, and managing situations that may arise when discussing the sensitive topics, which research has shown to be important to achieving the goals of this funding opportunity. During Dibble trainings, participants explore trauma-informed delivery approaches, with additional suggestions offered by Dibble Training Specialists.
Equally important, we focus on positive youth development by designing our programs utilizing a strengths-based approach. Our programs empower youth with the skills needed to form and maintain healthy relationships, make safer sexual (and life) choices, and work towards their goals. Our approach helps facilitators focus on youth’s strengths, be inclusive in mindset and language, and build positive relationships with the youth and community they’re serving. To further reinforce the importance (and future use) of these approaches and skills, we provide additional discussion points and modeling in our Dibble trainings.
Tools for Your EBP Review
Dibble programs are being successfully implemented with a wide range of youth, especially those who have suffered historic disparities. Diverse organizations have successfully taught the programs in a wide variety of settings. Here is a partial list of populations and settings where our programs are being used.
Check out our real life Case Studies here.
- Risk-immersed youth
- Expecting and parenting teens (both fathers and mothers)
- LGBTQ+ youth
- Youth in correctional settings
- Tribal youth
- Runaway and homeless youth
- Community college students
- Foster youth (both within the system and aging out)
- Young people who have suffered abuse
- Trafficked youth
- Rural, urban, and suburban youth
- Challenge academies
- Alternative schools
- Faith-based settings
- Community based agencies
- In-home visitation
- Homeless shelters
- Workforce Development (YouthBuild/Job Corps)
- Juvenile Justice settings
- Group homes (Foster)
- Residential settings (Mental health)
These quotes are from Tpp Tier 1 Grantees:
We chose Love Notes for our TPP grant because:
“Its strong evidence-base, the responsiveness of [The Dibble Institute] administration, its emphasis on relationships not just sex ed.”
“Love Notes is an evidence-based curriculum with excellent lessons and includes content that youth seek out such as videos and activities. It also includes trusted adult activities that we wanted to include in our implementation.”
“The curriculum situates sex education in the broader context of relationships (including family relationships). This is crucial.”
“The program objectives are parallel to the local high school curriculum standards making Love Notes an easy fit for in-school implementation.”
How did Love Notes work for you?
“Our staff, our partners, and our youth really like it.”
“Love Notes was awesome for everyone involved. Facilitators loved implementing Love Notes, and teen and parents loved participating.”
For anyone considering using Love Notes:
“I would tell them that it is non-shaming, very hands-on and creative program.”
“I would encourage them to use Love Notes because the students like the curriculum and they have told us that they’ve learned a lot from the curriculum especially referring back to the 7 Principles of Smart Relationships.”
Mind Matters as an EBP for non-sexual risk factors
Recent studies of adolescents have found that:
- Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and PTSD symptoms are associated with sexual risk-taking (i.e., sexual initiation, multiple sexual partners, unprotected sex; Song & Qian, 2020; Tull, Weiss, & McDermott, 2016) and higher risk of pregnancy (Song & Qian, 2020).
- Youth assets (e.g., self-regulation skills) are associated with less sexual risk-taking (Song & Wian, 2020).
Unfortunately, many young people have experienced ACEs and other difficulties in their lives, thus putting them at greater risk for these sexual-risk taking behaviors highlighted in the research above.
Evidence from an evaluation of Mind Matters (Antle et al., 2021) demonstrates the program’s effect on sexual risk-taking precursors. Specifically, youth who received the Mind Matters curriculum:
- Reported a decrease in their PTSD symptoms after programming.
- Reported an increase in protective factors (i.e., knowledge in self-regulation and trauma-coping skills)
Tull, M. T., Weiss, N. H., & McDermott, M. J. (2016). Post-traumatic stress disorder and impulsive and risky behavior: Overview and discussion of potential mechanisms. Comprehensive guide to post-traumatic stress disorders, 2, 803-16.
The following fidelity aids and checklists are available when you purchase the Dibble programs:
- Annotated slide deck to focus the instructor on key content.
- Observational fidelity tools for facilitators, coaches, and evaluators
- Dibble Certified Training to assure fidelity to the EBP models.
The Dibble Institute offers high-quality training designed specifically to support your facilitators in delivering Dibble materials with fidelity while meeting the needs of the youth in your community! In these interactive trainings, which are available online or in-person, our experienced Dibble Training Specialists will provide tips for creating a safe and welcoming learning environment for all, including noting methods for trauma-informed teaching, while also offering tips for adapting the curriculum based on the setting and specific needs of your youth.
Upon completion of our trainings, facilitators will be able to confidently and successfully implement the curriculum in a way that promotes youth learning and creates positive outcomes. With that said our support for your team doesn’t end there! We’re happy to offer ongoing assistance for your staff and facilitators as they begin and continue to implement Dibble curricula to aide in the success of your programming.
In support of the 2023 TPP Tier 1 expectation* of well-trained staff and to teach the program with full fidelity, training by a Dibble Training Specialist in our programs is required.
- Dibble trainings are conducted by our experienced Training Specialists via ZOOM in 5 successive 3.5-hour days or in person for 3 full days.
- A single seat at a virtual training is $995 for the 5-day training. This is a great option if you have fewer than 8 staff to train over a year period. (This option is only available for virtual trainings.)
- Group online training for 25 seats is $6,995. This option allows you to schedule a total of 25 team members (managers, supervisors, and/or facilitators) at virtual trainings over a 12-month period. This is a great option for programs who plan to add staff as grant activities roll out.
- A closed, custom training for up to 25 participants is $6,995. This allows you to have the training fully customized with the complete focus on your team and needs of your community. This option can be either in-person (with additional travel expenses) or on-line.
If you have recently been trained in a Dibble program or if you currently have a Dibble Certified Trainer on staff, please call our training team at 800-695-7975 to discuss your next steps for this new funding.
*Successful applicants will “demonstrate organizational readiness to implement the project through staffing, training, and clear project management processes and protocols.”
To assist you in planning your budget to support your grant’s goals, below are two tools for your use.
The budget worksheet will help you calculate the curriculum and training costs. In order to maintain the fidelity to our evidence based programs, we expect all facilitators to have their own instructor’s manual as well as to have attended training with a Dibble certified trainer. The art supply list is included to make sure your facilitators have what they need to successfully present each lesson.
The Dibble Institute includes two hours of complimentary consultations with every training. Additional services may be scheduled based on your needs.
Consultation topics may include:
- Bringing your program to scale
- Creating realistic recruitment and retention plans
- Successful implementation models in schools and youth development programs
- Identifying referral resources
- Post training booster webinar
- Developing a post-training plan for successful facilitation
- Insights into risk and protective factors
- Review and oversight of adaptations to assure ﬁdelity
Running a TPP Tier 1 Grant in California?
We’ve got you covered!
As of July 1, 2023, Love Notes will be CHYA (California Healthy Youth Act) compliant.
The California Healthy Youth Act has five primary purposes and Love Notes will cover all five.
- To provide pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect their sexual and reproductive health from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and from unintended pregnancy;
- To provide pupils with the knowledge and skills they need to develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender, sexual orientation, relationships, marriage, and family;
- To promote understanding of sexuality as a normal part of human development;
- To ensure pupils receive integrated, comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased sexual health and HIV prevention instruction and provide educators with clear tools and guidance to accomplish that end;
- To provide pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to have healthy, positive, and safe relationships and behaviors
We are currently adding additional content to meet CHYA’s requirements. The California adaptation of Love Notes may take up to 14 hours to completely cover all topics. This is the amount of time districts in California make available for sexual and reproductive health instruction.
If you have any questions, please email Aaron at DibbleInstitute.org.
“When I decided to take this class I had no idea this would be what we’re learning about but now that I’ve took this class I’ve learned so much I was in a very physically, emotionally , and mentally abusive relationship for over 8 months and didn’t even realize it until I took this class I never realized how little somebody could make you feel or how such small things in my eyes are actually classified as abuse you’ll never realize what type of situation you were in until you’re out of the situation. I’ve learned how to properly react to certain situations and how to address situations in a better manner at first I would become distant instead of dealing with the situation or leaving on a bad note because I didn’t want to argue because that’s what it always turned into I didn’t know how to address things without it turning into us arguing and that why I was distant and didn’t express to them how certain things affected me or how it made me feel I was very bad about using the word “you” and I would blame more than I realized I learned using the word “you” isn’t the best way to go when addressing situations instead use “l” or ‘We.” Before this class I had such low expectations and would let the boys I was with walk all over me and I never realized how bad it truly was. this class has taught me how to make better decisions and not to rush into things how to use my words and express my feelings in a positive way at first I thought this class was pointless and that I wouldn’t learn anything silly me thinking I know everything as I’ve been in multiple relationships but little did I know I was a lot of the problem and I can’t completely say it was all me but taking this class taught me that I say pretty toxic things out of anger and don’t think about how it will hurt/affect the other person and instead of arguing take a 30 minute break and come back and discuss what was said and why it turned into what it turned into. I also never believed in the 3 months rule I thought that if it was meant to be then it was meant to be I thought having sex the first few weeks of being together was okay or being manipulated was a way of them showing love when really it’s a toxic way of getting you attached to make you think they love you. I’ve learned a lot about relationships since I took this class and I don’t regret taking this class. It was a very good learning experience for me.” – Student 1
“I’m glad I took this class, it helped me learn so much about how relationships should be, I found out that everyone carries baggage from the past. Some are good, some are bad* I learned about my baggage, where it came from, and how to get rid of it« My baggage came from my ex and how he treated me, I was so scared to trust people with what I told them. I did\t know how they would react to how I was feeling. My ex would make me feel bad for telling him how I felt about what he was doing. Now I know that I shouldn’t feel that way and should be able to say how 1 1m feeling without being scared of how they will react. I know what I want in a relationship and how it should go, it’s my expectations, Here’s just a few of my expectations. I expect to trust each other, be faithful to each other, share how we are feeling, and just love each other. If this doesn’t meet your expectations, leave. You don’t deserve bare minimum. You deserve the best and only the best. You also have to have boundaries, If you don’t have boundaries you will get walked all over and it doesn’t feel good* If they don’t respect your boundaries then they are not the one for you. If a guy truly loves you and respects you* he will respect your boundaries after the first time you talk about them. Being connected in a relationship is good, Being verbally* emotionally, and spiritually are great. You need to talk about those things in the beginning of your relationship. You probably want to talk about physically and commitment, If you want to do anything physical that is past your boundaries they need to know that. In conclusion, I learned how to have a healthy relationship and communicate with my partner. If you don*t have structure and communication it it’ll not work out with your partner, You need to know what you want and what you expect in your current or future relationship. I’m so thankful I took this class so now I know what I want and what to expect for myself and relationship.” – Student 2
“During this semester I’ve learned a lot about relationships and how to deal with certain things in relationships. This class has taught me that waiting for intimate relationships is better than sliding into them. It’s important to take your time and wait until you’re both ready. You and your partner need to communicate about pregnancy, STDs, birth control, and other things like that before getting intimate. Honesty plays a big part of relationships, if we aren’t honest with each other than our relationship won’t work. In relationships, communication is also extremely important. If you don’t communicate, there will be no trust, loyalty, or honesty. Both partners don’t always have to be on the same page about everything but we need to learn to talk about things and decide something together. We shouldn’t pressure each other to do anything the other person doesn’t want to do. The biggest thing in all relationships is to have a plan for the future. We need to talk about accidental pregnancies and what we’d do if we were to get pregnant by mistake. It’s important to always be there for each other and support one another in our decision making. We’re going to argue like every normal couple but we can’t let that affect our relationship. Our future will be affected by our relationship now depending on how healthy it is. If one of us isn’t happy in the relationship then we shouldn’t be forced to fake being happy to make the other person happy. If one partner wants to get sexual but the other partner isn’t ready, the relationship is toxic and that partner is only there for one thing. This class has taught me that not all relationships are the same.” – Student 3
“How has this class changed my outlook on future relationships? This class has changed the way I feel about relationships in many ways. I’ve realized some of the wrong things I’ve been doing, that makes my relationships toxic. This class has made me realize what I want in a relationship. Whether that be stability, communication, loyalty, reassurance, effort, etc. I’ve realized that relationships need all of those things in order to stay healthy and happy. I’ve learned that it’s okay to argue as long as you aren’t constantly putting each other down. Communication is key in relationships for me I need to talk to my person. Not necessarily meaning we always have to talk, but rather enjoying telling each other about our day and celebrating the little things. Reflecting back, I think my most favorite lesson was my match profile. In this lesson I realized what I personally want out of a relationship. I should never expect the bare minimum, if he won’t someone else will so it’s best to end things and move on. I’d rather start over with someone 100 times other than going back to the same person who constantly hurts me and cannot meet my expectations. Loving someone so much and getting nothing in return is so draining, no one should ever put up with that. Losing someone hurts, but it can only hurt for so long, then you realize your worth and moving on gets easier. I deal with my relationships by being upfront with what I want. If you aren’t meeting my expectations then I no longer need to entertain you. I deal with my family relationships by expressing my feelings and concern. I think just being upfront about what you want is the best thing you can do to keep healthy relationships.” – Student 4
“I’ve taken Family Studies before when I was in the 9th grade. I thought the class was pretty boring back then and didn’t really learn anything from it because I probably thought the way I was acting in my past relationships was ok. I feel that I am more mature now and I can actually use a lot of this new information and different ways to complain, listen, and view my expectations. I’ve learned to never lower my expectations for anyone, because most of the time we all deserve more than that. You’ve also taught me to value myself more and to not just give myself to the first person who gives me attention. I’ve had 3 past relationships and I was not a kind person because I didn’t put up with their nonsense. I also just wasn’t nice to them if they started crying or trying to manipulate me. I now have a current boyfriend that I am going to be patient with and not just completely shut down and not communicate, because I actually want this to work out for longer than 2 months. I really believe that it can if I complain in the right way and not just call names and only hear things from one side of the story. I am also willing to wait and put up my sexual boundaries. I have seen relationships that just absolutely fell apart the instant the couple had sex. They put sex first before getting to know each other and ruined a relationship that could’ve been great. I am glad I took this class again and actually paid attention. I have learned so much more than I thought I would have only because I have a short attention span for a lot of subjects. It made me feel better the days I could open up and tell our class my feelings and my point of view on some things.” – Student 5