Handle with Care

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How Does the Program Work?

Little girl petting dog

The concept is simple...

Law enforcement at the scene of a crime, violence and/or abuse identify children at the scene who have been exposed to trauma.

The child's name, age and school are sent by Law Enforcement in a confidential notice to the child's school before the child starts school the next day. No other information is given except the child's name and 3 words: "Handle With Care"

As schools learn to be trauma sensitive, proper interventions can mitigate the negative effects of trauma on the child. If the child acts out, the teacher has a heads up and may send the child to the counselor instead of the principal.

Role of the School District

The specific school the student attends will receive notice of a Handle With Care student via the HWC email address.

If a student exhibits behavior or emotional problems, the teacher will implement trauma sensitive interventions and/or refer the student to the counselor.

Ideally, teachers and staff will be trained on the impact of trauma on learning.

Interventions may include:

  • re-teaching lessons
  • Postponing tests
  • Interventions by school counselor
  • a referral to an outside agency

Tips for Teachers

1. Be Aware

  • Watch for signs of crying, anger or withdrawal
  • Handle child with care
  • If needed, refer the student to the appropriate staff member.

2. Be Mindful

3. Do Not

  • press for information
  • question
  • draw unnecessary attention to the student
  • treat the student differently