Action Pack: Start ‘Handle With Care’ So Police Notify Schools if Kids Exposed to Trauma!


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Some kids witness domestic violence or murder. Some see loved ones hurt in accidents.

These kids still have to go to class, carrying a burden of stress and trauma that can interfere with their behavior and grades—in schools that aren’t even aware there’s an issue.

Fortunately, you can help these kids.

Download the free Salud America!Handle With Care Action Pack.” The Action Pack helps police, school, and mental healthcare leaders start the Handle with Care program, in which police notify schools when they encounter children at a traumatic scene, so schools can provide support right away.


The Action Pack was created by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Salud America! Latino health equity program at UT Health San Antonio and Andrea Darr, of the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice, which launched and maintain Handle With Care.

“When police come across kids at a scene of domestic violence, drug raid, or accident, they send school districts a simple heads up. They send the child’s name, age, and school, with a simple message to ‘Handle With Care,’” said Darr. No confidential or incident information is shared. “Schools prepare to give trauma-sensitive support and connect those kids and families to mental healthcare services.”

With the Action Pack, you can start Handle With Care in 5 steps:

  1. Start the Conversation for Handle With Care. Use our model emails and talking points to engage decision-makers about the need for Handle With Care.
  2. Create a Group and a Vision. Use our guide and materials to plan, invite people to, and conduct a community meeting to build support for and plan your Handle With Care program.
  3. Create Your Notification Flow. Use the model notification system to create your Handle With Care Notification Flow from police to schools.
  4. Implement Your Handle With Care Program. Use our sample materials to train police, school, and mental healthcare personnel to implement Handle With Care.
  5. Promote the Program. Use our model news release and sharable social media materials to raise awareness of your program in your community.

Handle With Care has begun in over 65 U.S. cities, including a pilot in San Antonio.

“We believe our Handle With Care Action Pack can bring together police, schools, and mental health leaders to proactively support students who endure trauma,” Ramirez said. “Handle With Care can enable traumatized students achieve academically and emotionally at their highest level, while helping prevent future risky behavior and chronic disease.”

Register for a webinar to learn how you can use the Action Pack on Aug. 26, 2019.


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