Handle with Care Act 2018
This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Department of Education, to award five-year demonstration grants to states to address the impact of substance use-related trauma on children and youth in public schools.
The Handle with Care program, which originated in West Virginia, is as simple as law enforcement sending a “Handle with Care” alert to the child’s school. While the school does not receive any information other than the child’s name and the alert, it enables the school to exercise the trauma-informed training provided in coordination with the Handle with Care program. The goal of the program is to promote safe schools, and communities, while ensuring that every child is able to thrive in school even when they face trauma at home.
The Handle with Care Act would authorize $10 million in federal funding to establish 5-year demonstration grants for states to address the impact of substance use related and other trauma on children and youth in public schools by strengthening or building Handle with Care programs. These programs would:
- Develop and share evidence-based or evidence-informed training for trauma informed care and provide that training in schools connected to the program.
- Connect students who experience trauma at home to those resources in schools via the “Handle with Care” alert from law enforcement.
- Require programs to report on the success of the Handle with Care programs in improving student outcomes.
- National Association of Secondary School Principals
- AASA – School Superintendents Association
- American School Counselor Association
- National Association for School Psychologists
- National Education Association
- The National Crittenton Association
- National Association of Elementary School Principals
- American Psychological Association
- West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice