The TA contractor puts substantial effort into paving the way for SOAR to take shape in state and local communities through three key activities: strategic planning, the TTT program, and ongoing implementation support. However, to fully exploit the activities and the contractor's expertise states must be active participants in the TA process. For example, they need to enlist the appropriate stakeholders from the outset, purposefully and carefully identifying leads that will become actively engaged in SOAR and trainers with the appropriate background, qualifications, and commitment. And, states must not only develop thoughtful and specific action plans detailing the implementation process, but take ownership of those plans and seek ongoing TA offered by the contractor to assist in carrying out implementation plans. Various tools could assist states in these efforts in the future, such as job descriptions for state leads and trainers, memoranda of understanding specifying the roles of each stakeholder, and a schedule for ongoing communication between the state and the TA contractor. A broader focus on strategic planning activities for instance, by conducting several forums within a state could also help states engage the appropriate stakeholders and devise and then implement realistic and incremental action steps toward implementation. Whether and how the case study states were able to capitalize on the current TA activities is the focus of the next chapter.
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