Past Projects

Social Services

The following projects were completed under the direction of former social services director, Ramona Denby

Southern Nevada Addictive Disorders Training Project

The Southern Nevada Addictive Disorders Training Project (SNADTP) was a training and workforce development initiative that began in 2015 and ran through September 2018. It was based out of the Lincy Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The three-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funded project was intended to strengthen and further develop the southern Nevada mental and behavioral health workforce by training health and behavioral health students, established behavioral health practitioners, and allied professionals in the use of evidence-based Screening, Brief intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for Substance Use Disorders.

Three goals of the project were to:

  1. Develop and provide sustainable, coordinated, and comprehensive training and other resource materials designed to educate and support health and human service students, established practitioners, and allied professionals in the use of evidence-based and culturally responsive SBIRT models;
  2. Improve students’ competencies and their intervention and service delivery effectiveness by providing intensive, didactic, and experiential training in SBIRT; and
  3. Increase the number of students who complete undergraduate and graduate education with specialized training in addiction treatment.

Over the course of the three-year project, 761 students and 634 providers were trained in Southern Nevada in SBIRT. For questions about the project, please email


SNADTP collaborated with the PACT Coalition to help sustain SBIRT Training in Southern Nevada. PACT will house a list of SBIRT Trainers who have agreed to be contacted for training opportunities. The trainers on the list have attended one of SNADTP’s Train-the-Trainer sessions or have conducted SBIRT Training for SNADTP in the past. After September 30, 2018, you may contact Novlette Mack, Training Coordinator, PACT Coalition, at to receive the list of SBIRT trainers. 

Please Note: UNLV and PACT Coalition will not be able to provide financial or technical support to trainers on the list, and agreements about the nature of the training and potential compensation will be negotiated between the trainer and the entity requesting the SBIRT Training. Being on the list does not imply that SNADTP have ‘endorsed’ or ‘certified’ the trainer or the SBIRT training they provide.


Interested in becoming a Nevada Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor or Problem Gambling Counselor?

Information on requirements and the application process is available from the Nevada Board of Examiners for Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Counselors.

Data Mining and Assessment Project

Data mining and community needs assessments in the social service sector focus on major areas of well-being that address problems impacting children, adults, and families. Of particular interest are projects that address the needs of vulnerable or underserved populations. The purpose of the needs assessments as they relate to the Social Service Sector is to advance knowledge of particular social problems using multi-causal models. In many instances the assessments identify the efforts that are currently in place locally that aim to address identified problems. Additionally, based on national comparisons, indicators of success and best practice standards, the needs assessment provide results that define current service gaps. With the needs assessments interventions, policies, research, or programming directions that produce sound outcomes and demonstrate improved well-being are sought. Below are descriptions of two data mining and assessment projects currently underway.

Health and Human Services Workforce Development/Capacity Needs Assessment

This assessment study is led by Dr. Sandra Owens of the UNLV School of Social Work in collaboration with the UNLV Canon Survey Center under the directorship of Pam Gallion. There are three components to the assessment: (1) Household Assessment- a survey of households to determine prevalence of mental health conditions; (2) Service Utilization Assessment – interviews with individuals who are currently utilizing mental health services locally in Clark County; and a (3) Workforce Assessment- an examination of the mental and behavioral workforce’s skills, competency, professional background, and preparation. Community stakeholders comprise a Mental/Behavioral Health Workforce Assessment Advisory Committee to support and guide this assessment project.

Housing, Shelter Care, and Homelessness: Strengthening the Community through Planned Collaboration

A capacity report was developed as a result of a study undertaken in Clark County, Nevada, 2011–2012. The primary purpose of the study was to gather information about the needs of local nonprofit agencies who are working in the areas of homelessness, housing, shelter care, and services to vulnerable children and families. A secondary purpose of the study was to analyze the capacity of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) to assist local nonprofits in capacity building and help them to achieve their service goals. The study ascertained the needs of the nonprofits and through an analysis of UNLV’s past and current engagement with the community, provided an analysis of "fit" and recommendations for building a community-university partnership to better address the needs of some of the most vulnerable citizens in the community. A mixed-method study revealed complementary interests of more than 21 UNLV departments and units and 24 local nonprofit organizations who work in the area of housing, economic development, shelter care, and homelessness. A five-point recommendation plan was provided with the purpose of linking faculty and the community to build the capacity of nonprofits as they work to address the needs of some of Nevada’s most vulnerable citizens. Please refer to Resources for more information about the 2012 capacity report.

Establishing Safety, Permanency, and Well-being for Children Residing in Relative Care: A Data Diffusion Plan

The Establishing Safety, Permanency, and Well-being for Children Residing in Relative Care: A Data Diffusion Plan is a research dissemination project funded by the Silberman Fund, a private philanthropic foundation administered by the New York Community Trust. The two-year project has produced a series of publications that translate empirically validated findings of research about kinship care. The publications describe various intervention, practice and policy strategies useful in supporting kinship caregivers with the aim of improving the outcomes for the children in their care.

Mental and Behavioral Health Coalition

Working collaboratively with the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DBPH), the major nonprofit and for profit community mental health organizations, and multiple mental and behavioral health stakeholder groups, The Lincy Institute and UNLV are committed to addressing workforce shortage issues. The university is home to seven educational programs that provide training for mental and behavioral health professions – Psychology, Counselor Education, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Nursing, Educational Psychology, and Addictions and Human Services. Through the work of the Social Services Program at The Lincy Institute, the diverse programs joined forces to establish a Mental and Behavioral Health Coalition, striving to achieve complementary goals of improving the mental health workforce in Nevada.

Working closely with its community partners, the UNLV Mental and Behavioral Health Coalition worked to eliminate barriers to students entering and graduating from degree programs that prepare them for careers in mental and behavioral health. The Coalition also focused on implementing strategies that allow degreed mental health professionals to enter into the workforce more quickly and sustain their service and work in the state of Nevada.

Coalition efforts focused on seven key areas:

  • student recruitment
  • student graduation
  • workforce entry
  • workforce retention
  • communication and promotion of mental health careers
  • engagement of community mental and behavioral health professionals
  • expansion and sustainability of coalition efforts

The Coalition looked to increase student learning and training in high-need mental health service areas, such as practicing in integrated health care settings and providing services to children, youth, and their families. With the opening of UNLV School of Medicine, the foundational work of Coalition members continues to provide new and exciting opportunities for medical and mental health students to share educational and practice experiences today.

Determined, Responsible, Empowered Adolescents Mentoring Relationships (DREAMR)

This federally-funded project aimed to reduce pregnancy among foster youth. The project was lead by the Clark County Department of Family Services and the local community partners included: Big Brothers Big Sisters, SAFY, Olive Crest, S.P.I.R.I.T. and the Southern Nevada Health District. The Lincy Institute supported the research and evaluation work that was being conducted in connection with the DREAMR project.

The purpose of the research supporting the project was to determine the effectiveness of a service approach designed to prevent foster youth pregnancy. Additionally, the study measured the extent to which foster youth are able to develop healthy, positive and supportive relationships with adults. A total of 400 foster youth were studied over the course of the five-year demonstration project. The research team used a randomized control group experimental design to evaluate the multifaceted approach to reducing pregnancy and increasing protective factors.

Project participants and their caregivers and workers were exposed to a year-long service approach consisting of the following components:

  1. A peer mentorship
  2. Pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease prevention courses
  3. Training for foster parents and relative caregivers about increasing their ability to talk to youth about how to create healthy relationships with positive and supportive people and how to avoid pregnancy
  4. Training for workers about increasing their ability to work with youth so that they were able to create healthy relationships with positive and supportive people
  5. A casework approach called 3-5-7 that was led by the youths' workers and was designed to help foster youth think about their past and become emotionally stronger by sorting out their experiences
  6. A "smartphone" that was issued to youth so that they can keep track of the various program components that they were engaged in and that enabled them to stay in communication with their mentor, workers, and service providers

Learn More about the DREAMR Project

Clark County DREAMR Project: 3-5-7 Model© (Short Version)
Clark County DREAMR Project: 3-5-7 Model© (Long Version)
Clark County DREAMR Project: Our Story
Clark County DREAMR Project: Fidelity System
Clark County DREAMR Project: Mentoring BBBS
Clark County DREAMR Project: Parenting