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A trauma-informed approach to the prevention of school violence – development and implementation of handle with care in the School District of Philadelphia.

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $956,937)

This project is a collaboration between the Office of Prevention and Intervention (OPI) and the Office of School Safety (OSS) at the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) and the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) to develop and implement an innovative, trauma-informed approach to prevent and intervene early in incidents of school violence in Philadelphia public schools. This project supports: (1) development and implementation of comprehensive training for 300 law enforcement and 100 school personnel to increase knowledge and awareness of student exposure to trauma and violence and (2) the development and implementation of policies to mitigate negative effects associated with trauma exposure among public school students. Specifically, Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) will understand how to respond to potential students who may have experienced trauma and alert the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) when they encounter a school-aged individual at the scene of an incident. Relying on trauma informed training provided by this project, the school personnel understand how to respond to the student’s behaviors throughout the day. When students who may have experienced trauma are well-supported, it sets the stage for better behavioral, social-emotional, and academic outcomes. Relying on this trauma-informed approach, the SDP and its partners will work to reduce serious behavior incidents in the 15 schools located within the 22nd Police District in Philadelphia, which, in a city with major, systemic poverty and safety challenges, is among the highest in crime rates and poverty levels in the Philadelphia.

Date Created: September 28, 2023