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Connecting with Care:  Alliance for Inclusion and PreventionConnecting with Care:  Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention

The Model

What Is Connecting With Care?
The Goals of Connecting With Care
Special Approaches, Tailored to the Needs of the Community
How Does Connecting With Care Work?

Recent Publication on CWC: Levraging Mental Health Dollars in Schools

Blue Cross Foundation of MA Highlights CWC

Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ)

What Is Connecting With Care?


Connecting With Care (CWC) reaches out to children and families in high-need neighborhoods and public schools in Boston to help them cope with emotional challenges in the face of trauma. The program is a community-guided, culturally competent mental health system reform and treatment model that brings a specialization in trauma and a focus on local sustainability.

CWC coordinates with partnering community mental health providers to place full-time clinicians at each partnering school. These clinicians provide therapy to children in school during the school day and meet with students and families on-site after school, at home visits, or at the clinicians’ agency.  Services are provided during the school year and over the summer.

CWC places a high emphasis on family engagement and is the first program in Massachusetts to co-locate in-home therapy (IHT) teams in some of our schools, providing teachers direct access to the professionals who are working with the families of their students and access to the full continuum of Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) services.

 CWC is committed to quality service provision in schools.  Clinicians receive training and weekly supervision in scientifically-validated treatments for childhood trauma and anxiety, integrating parent and teacher engagement in school-based treatment.

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The Goals of Connecting With Care


Connecting With Care (CWC) increases the local community’s capacity to provide comprehensive mental health treatment, with a trauma focus, to local youth and families. By addressing key barriers that providers and families face, the project:


1. Reduces racial and ethnic disparities in access to mental health treatment.
2. Addresses the stigma often associated with mental health issues that can be a significant obstacle to seeking out treatment.
3. Develops the sustainable capacity of local providers and local community institutions to provide mental health supports to this community’s children and families, including an informed response to the impact of trauma.
4. Establishes a Standard of Care for Quality School-Based Child Mental Health Services.
5. Leverages blended funding—public and private insurance, private philanthropy, and in-kind contributions--through supportive infrastructure
6. Demonstrates a viable project design that stimulates more mental health services in schools.

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Special Approaches, Tailored to the Needs of the Community


CWC uses an array of treatment modalities and incorporates a special team approach to helping children who have been exposed to trauma, guided by the principles of Trauma Systems Therapy (TST). TST is an innovative multi-disciplinary model that focuses on the child’s trauma symptoms and on the environmental conditions that perpetuate them. It brings together the resources of individual therapy, family treatment, home-based services, psychiatry, psychopharmacology, advocacy, and school/community supports to help the child and family to reduce the conditions that exacerbate symptoms and to learn new skills for coping with the impact of trauma. CWC is a member of the TST National Leadership Team and has implemented the first school-based adaptation of the model in the nation.   In partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital, CWC innovated a collaborative training model that produced New England’s first two Somali social workers and an adaptation of TST for refugees (TST-R).

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How Does Connecting With Care Work?


The diagram below illustrates the typical pathway through treatment of a child from a Connecting With Care school who receives services from CWC.


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