Handle with Care is a program that provides support to a child who has been exposed to some kind of trauma. It starts when a first responder – law enforcement, fire fighter, emergency medical responder, etc. – sends a notice to a designated school official to tell them that a child has been exposed to a traumatic incident. To send notifications, first responders log in to a secure page from the 211 Connecting Point website. https://211connectingpoint.org/handle-with-care/
A Handle with Care notification alerts the school that a child may have been exposed to a traumatic incident such as domestic violence, child abuse, death in the family, witness to a crime, loss of home due to a house fire, etc. No specific details are shared, just one simple request: to focus on the child and handle them with care. Confidentiality is maintained at all levels.
School staff members, while observing the student throughout the day, will aim to be especially sensitive to student needs. Provisions for a quiet place to rest, assistance with meeting basic needs, homework/test forgiveness or delay, a visit to the school nurse or counselor, or referral to an outside agency will be provided as needed.
Research shows that exposure to violence and trauma can seriously undermine a child’s ability to learn, form relationships and focus appropriately in the classroom. To support students in Nevada County, this united effort among local agencies has led to the adoption and implementation of the Handle with Care program. Nevada County Handle with Care is modeled after the West Virginia Handle with Care and the Stanislaus County FOCUS program.
The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office is grateful for the collaborative efforts of many local agencies to provide a safe and productive learning environment for our students as we seek to “handle every child with care.”
For additional information on the Nevada County Handle with Care program, please contact Chris Espedal, NCSOS Safety and School Climate Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-478-6400, ext. 2047.