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Take Care Delaware to Launch Statewide

Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families | Date Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2022


Take Care Delaware Expands Statewide

WILMINGTON – The Delaware Children’s Department (DSCYF) has announced that it plans to launch the trauma-informed initiative Take Care Delaware statewide in 2022.

Take Care Delaware is an innovative trauma-informed program that promotes school and community partnerships, such as law enforcement and mental health providers, to help children exposed to trauma receive support so they can succeed in school. The program began in 2019 as a pilot in the Smyrna School District and involved all law enforcement agencies within the district’s jurisdiction. At the end of 2021, there was a soft rollout to numerous New Castle County school districts and law enforcement entities with the goal of implementation in various Kent County and Sussex County school districts throughout 2022. Partnering school districts and law enforcement entities must complete necessary training requirements to participate in the Take Care Delaware program.

“Take Care Delaware, a partnership between schools, law enforcement and mental health providers, is aimed at addressing children’s exposure to trauma. Trauma undermines a child’s ability to learn, regulate emotions, and form healthy relationships,” said Pat Chapman, Community Coordinator and Take Care Delaware lead with the Delaware Children’s Department (DSCYF). “The goal and work of the program supports providing trauma-focused interventions for children exposed to trauma in their home, community or school. This is an opportunity for ALL of us to work together and handle ALL children through a trauma-informed lens, so that our traumatized children can heal and thrive. I am thrilled to see this program and our partnerships throughout Delaware expand.”

This initiative begins with a simple connection – law enforcement provides a Take Care Delaware School District Coordinator with a “heads up” when a child has been identified at the scene of a traumatic event. There are no details of the incident shared, only the child’s name and school. The school then knows to take extra care with that child and employ trauma-informed approaches to help them cope and work through any behavior challenges.

“By investing in our children’s healing today, we can promote positive outcomes and nurture strong skills that foster resilience,” said Delaware Children’s Department (DSCYF) Cabinet Secretary Josette Manning. “Take Care Delaware is an example of trauma-informed healing in practice. Our collaboration with the schools and law enforcement across Delaware can make a real difference in the lives of children and families.”

Added Delaware Department of Education Cabinet Secretary Mark Holodick: “The pandemic heightened the already significant need for trauma-informed care in our schools. I’m grateful this partnership will allow us to expand a successful program statewide.”

Nationally, 60 percent of American children have been exposed to violence, crime or abuse in their homes, schools, or communities, according to a U.S. Department of Justice survey. Going further, 40 percent were direct victims of two or more violent acts. Studies show that prolonged exposure to trauma can impact a child’s ability to thrive in school, causing behavior and other learning issues. Those issues can manifest to more serious problems, such as truancy, expulsion or even involvement in the juvenile justice system.

“Our partnership with Take Care Delaware is one of those invaluable opportunities to provide support for students who most need our help.  Through a network of caring adults across our state, our community and our district we are able to create critical scaffolding for our children so that they may continue to thrive in and out of our schools,” said Patrik Williams, Smyrna School District Superintendent.

Take Care Delaware training for interested school districts and police departments continued throughout the pandemic. For example, the Delaware Children’s Department, in partnership with the Department of Education and Delaware State Police, worked to train law enforcement officers on trauma-informed practices. Ongoing support and training are available to police departments as needed.

“As law enforcement officers, far too often, we encounter various situations where children are exposed to traumatic events. The Take Care Delaware program allows law enforcement to make an immediate notification to the appropriate district coordinator so that a child can receive the trauma focused care needed to ensure their educational experience is not adversely impacted,” said Captain Joshua A. Bushweller with the Delaware State Police. “The collaboration with DSCYF and DOE in the development of this program highlights the positive impact we can collectively make together in keeping our kids emotionally healthy. We are grateful to have been a partner since the inception of the program and look forward to the statewide expansion so all of Delaware’s children can benefit from this great program.”

From the beginning stages, Take Care Delaware received guidance from the West Virginia Defending Childhood Initiative, commonly referred to as “Handle With Care.” This initiative has the goal of preventing children’s exposure to trauma and finding ways to help children heal when exposed through collaborative community partnerships.

“Trauma often looks like bad behavior in children and usually the response they receive is punitive, which only makes the situation worse.  You can’t punish trauma out of a child. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network found that 1 out of every 4 children attending school has been exposed to a traumatic event that can affect learning and/or behavior. That is a quarter of your classroom. These are children sitting in classrooms unable to learn. Trauma turns off the learning switch. Handle with Care helps turn the learning switch back on,” said Andrea Darr, Director, WV Center for Children’s Justice.

 This initiative is supported by Governor John Carney and trauma awareness champion First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney.

“We’ve learned so much about the effects of unaddressed trauma and how easy it can be to do further harm — not even out of malice, but just because of a lack of information,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. We also know that every interaction with a child matters, so in addition to awareness, we need partnerships to promote effective recognition of, and response to, childhood trauma. Take Care Delaware is a great example of how we can do that effectively and efficiently. Thanks to everyone who has been part of implementing this great program to serve our children.”

Caregivers, schools, or law enforcement officials wanting more information on Take Care Delaware can reach out to Pat Chapman by emailing patricia.chapman@delaware.gov.

The Delaware Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, are dependent, have mental health or substance use disorders, and/or have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts, as well as prevention services targeted toward all youth. It has four divisions: Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services, Division of Family Services and Division of Management Support Services. For more information, please visit www.kids.delaware.gov.

Media Contact: Jen Rini, jen.rini@delaware.gov

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Take Care Delaware to Launch Statewide

Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families | Date Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2022


Take Care Delaware Expands Statewide

WILMINGTON – The Delaware Children’s Department (DSCYF) has announced that it plans to launch the trauma-informed initiative Take Care Delaware statewide in 2022.

Take Care Delaware is an innovative trauma-informed program that promotes school and community partnerships, such as law enforcement and mental health providers, to help children exposed to trauma receive support so they can succeed in school. The program began in 2019 as a pilot in the Smyrna School District and involved all law enforcement agencies within the district’s jurisdiction. At the end of 2021, there was a soft rollout to numerous New Castle County school districts and law enforcement entities with the goal of implementation in various Kent County and Sussex County school districts throughout 2022. Partnering school districts and law enforcement entities must complete necessary training requirements to participate in the Take Care Delaware program.

“Take Care Delaware, a partnership between schools, law enforcement and mental health providers, is aimed at addressing children’s exposure to trauma. Trauma undermines a child’s ability to learn, regulate emotions, and form healthy relationships,” said Pat Chapman, Community Coordinator and Take Care Delaware lead with the Delaware Children’s Department (DSCYF). “The goal and work of the program supports providing trauma-focused interventions for children exposed to trauma in their home, community or school. This is an opportunity for ALL of us to work together and handle ALL children through a trauma-informed lens, so that our traumatized children can heal and thrive. I am thrilled to see this program and our partnerships throughout Delaware expand.”

This initiative begins with a simple connection – law enforcement provides a Take Care Delaware School District Coordinator with a “heads up” when a child has been identified at the scene of a traumatic event. There are no details of the incident shared, only the child’s name and school. The school then knows to take extra care with that child and employ trauma-informed approaches to help them cope and work through any behavior challenges.

“By investing in our children’s healing today, we can promote positive outcomes and nurture strong skills that foster resilience,” said Delaware Children’s Department (DSCYF) Cabinet Secretary Josette Manning. “Take Care Delaware is an example of trauma-informed healing in practice. Our collaboration with the schools and law enforcement across Delaware can make a real difference in the lives of children and families.”

Added Delaware Department of Education Cabinet Secretary Mark Holodick: “The pandemic heightened the already significant need for trauma-informed care in our schools. I’m grateful this partnership will allow us to expand a successful program statewide.”

Nationally, 60 percent of American children have been exposed to violence, crime or abuse in their homes, schools, or communities, according to a U.S. Department of Justice survey. Going further, 40 percent were direct victims of two or more violent acts. Studies show that prolonged exposure to trauma can impact a child’s ability to thrive in school, causing behavior and other learning issues. Those issues can manifest to more serious problems, such as truancy, expulsion or even involvement in the juvenile justice system.

“Our partnership with Take Care Delaware is one of those invaluable opportunities to provide support for students who most need our help.  Through a network of caring adults across our state, our community and our district we are able to create critical scaffolding for our children so that they may continue to thrive in and out of our schools,” said Patrik Williams, Smyrna School District Superintendent.

Take Care Delaware training for interested school districts and police departments continued throughout the pandemic. For example, the Delaware Children’s Department, in partnership with the Department of Education and Delaware State Police, worked to train law enforcement officers on trauma-informed practices. Ongoing support and training are available to police departments as needed.

“As law enforcement officers, far too often, we encounter various situations where children are exposed to traumatic events. The Take Care Delaware program allows law enforcement to make an immediate notification to the appropriate district coordinator so that a child can receive the trauma focused care needed to ensure their educational experience is not adversely impacted,” said Captain Joshua A. Bushweller with the Delaware State Police. “The collaboration with DSCYF and DOE in the development of this program highlights the positive impact we can collectively make together in keeping our kids emotionally healthy. We are grateful to have been a partner since the inception of the program and look forward to the statewide expansion so all of Delaware’s children can benefit from this great program.”

From the beginning stages, Take Care Delaware received guidance from the West Virginia Defending Childhood Initiative, commonly referred to as “Handle With Care.” This initiative has the goal of preventing children’s exposure to trauma and finding ways to help children heal when exposed through collaborative community partnerships.

“Trauma often looks like bad behavior in children and usually the response they receive is punitive, which only makes the situation worse.  You can’t punish trauma out of a child. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network found that 1 out of every 4 children attending school has been exposed to a traumatic event that can affect learning and/or behavior. That is a quarter of your classroom. These are children sitting in classrooms unable to learn. Trauma turns off the learning switch. Handle with Care helps turn the learning switch back on,” said Andrea Darr, Director, WV Center for Children’s Justice.

 This initiative is supported by Governor John Carney and trauma awareness champion First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney.

“We’ve learned so much about the effects of unaddressed trauma and how easy it can be to do further harm — not even out of malice, but just because of a lack of information,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. We also know that every interaction with a child matters, so in addition to awareness, we need partnerships to promote effective recognition of, and response to, childhood trauma. Take Care Delaware is a great example of how we can do that effectively and efficiently. Thanks to everyone who has been part of implementing this great program to serve our children.”

Caregivers, schools, or law enforcement officials wanting more information on Take Care Delaware can reach out to Pat Chapman by emailing patricia.chapman@delaware.gov.

The Delaware Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, are dependent, have mental health or substance use disorders, and/or have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts, as well as prevention services targeted toward all youth. It has four divisions: Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services, Division of Family Services and Division of Management Support Services. For more information, please visit www.kids.delaware.gov.

Media Contact: Jen Rini, jen.rini@delaware.gov

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Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

Here you can subscribe to future news updates.