handle with care
It's never too early, or late, to help a child who has been exposed to trauma. The initiative, which originated in West Virginia, is designed to help ensure that children who are exposed to trauma receive appropriate interventions to help them achieve academically, heal and thrive.
How does it work?
"Handle with Care" provides the school or child care agency with a “heads up” when a child has been identified at the scene of a traumatic event. It could be a a domestic violence situation, a shooting in the neighborhood, witnessing a malicious wounding, a drug raid at the home, etc. Police are trained to identify children at the scene, find out where they go to school and send the school a confidential email or fax that simply says . . . “Handle Johnny with care”. That’s it. No other details.
Teachers have been trained on the impact of trauma on learning, and are incorporating many interventions to mitigate the negative impact of trauma for identified students, including: re-teaching lessons; postponing testing; small group counseling by school counselors; and referrals to counseling, social service or advocacy programs.
Schools may also implement school-wide interventions to help create a trauma sensitive school (Greeters; pairing students with an adult mentor in the school; utilization of a therapy dog; and “thumbs up/thumbs down” to indicate if a student is having a good day or a bad day).