Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $626,266)
In alignment with BJA’s STOP School Violence program priorities, this Category 2 project was developed to offer solutions designed to bridge a dangerous gap in mental health and intervention services for at-risk students in the Genesee Valley Central School District (GVCSD), Allegany County, New York. This project will build out a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) response to mitigate trauma and recidivism through coordinated student and family support, as well as offer school-based mentoring and counseling.
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) will blend a school social worker, law enforcement and a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) as a multidisciplinary approach to address the school violence trajectory posed by at-risk students in the kindergarten through grade twelve building. The team will be trained to use police-facilitated family conferencing to “engage youth, family and community partners to meet the needs of at-risk individuals,” (https://www.missouristate.edu/CDR/FGC.htm). Further, GVCSD will employ an LMHC to make free counseling services available during and after school hours to identified students and families. Additionally, Peaceful Schools, Inc. will place a full-time interventionist in the school to deliver Check & Connect™, a program designed for students in grades six through twelve. This evidence-based program, recognized in the What Works Clearinghouse, will offer a continuum of communication and resource solutions to ensure at-risk students’ needs are addressed thereby reducing the likelihood of deviant behaviors. This project includes training a Check & Connect™ trainer to build and sustain the program beyond the grant term.
This multi-pronged Tier III approach will serve “to help prevent acts of violence and ensure a positive school climate”. The project design is intended to be easily replicable and highly effective in rural regions with limited resources.