The Residential Student Assistance Program (RSAP)
The Residential Student Assistance Program (RSAP), which was modeled after the Student Assistance Program, is a SAMHSA model program. It was designed to address high-risk adolescents living in residential child care facilities. The RSAP which is a selective and indicated program was developed and implemented in Westchester County by Student Assistance Services, Corp. The RSAP was part of a High Risk Youth Grant #618 from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (1987-1993). 

The RSAP was implemented in 1988 in six residential child-care facilities for adolescents in Westchester County as part of a 5-year High Risk Youth Grant (1987-1993) from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. The RSAP represented a partnership between local residential facilities, which had limited substance abuse prevention expertise and SAS, which had extensive expertise in the substance abuse prevention and intervention field. 

The RSAP is a selective and indicated program designed to prevent and reduce substance use and abuse among high risk, multi-problem adolescents placed in a variety of residential child care facilities (residential facilities). Adolescents are voluntarily or involuntarily placed in residential child care facilities because they have committed violent or delinquent acts, have been physically, sexually, or psychologically abused, have experienced chronic failure in school, and/or have experienced mental health problems including attempted suicide. 

In Westchester, the RSAP served predominantly African American and Latino adolescents from economically disadvantaged, inner-city families. The majority of the adolescents were children of substance abusers. The residential facilities in this project included: a locked county correction facility for 16 to19 year-olds: a residential treatment center for adolescents with severe psychiatric problems: a non-secure residential facility for juvenile offenders sentenced by the court: and three foster care facilities for abused, neglected, orphaned, or troubled adolescents placed by social services/child welfare agencies.  Most of the adolescents were from New York City and the other large cities in New York State. 
660 White Plains Road
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Copyright 2011 Student Assistance Services Corporation All Rights Reserveed
About Us
Contact Us
Student Assistance Program
ROADD Program
Bullying Prevention
PS Manual

An outcome evaluation documented the Westchester RSAP’s effectiveness in both preventing and reducing substance use among program participants 

The RSAP was modeled after the original Westchester Student Assistance Program (SAP) developed in 1978 in Westchester County, New York. The SAP is a highly effective, school-based substance abuse prevention and early intervention program. The SAP model demonstrated the effectiveness of adapting the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) model to secondary schools. EAPs have been used successfully by industry to assist employees whose work performance has been negatively affected by alcohol, other drugs, or personal and family problems. 

The SAP’s goals are to: 
  • Enhance the resiliency of adolescents whose parents are substance abusers.
  • Delay adolescent’s initial use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
  • Decrease adolescent’s use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. 

Similar to the SAP, the RSAP places highly skilled professional counselors at each site to implement the program. 

The RSAP offers a well-researched, highly effective model for preventing and reducing alcohol and other drug use among high risk adolescents living in residential child care facilities.

Materials are available to replicate the RSAP program.  For information on the RSAP program or to obtain these materials please contact us at 
Student Assistance Services
660 White Plains Road
Tarrytown, NY 10591 
Tel: (914) 332-1300
Fax: (914) 366-8826
Prevention Coalition
Parenting for Prevention
Staff List/Schools Served
Donate to SAS