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


Connecting with Care - an OverviewA Community-School Partnership to Promote Mental Health Supports for Children and Families

Connecting With Care (CWC) brings mental health services into high need neighborhoods and public schools in Boston to help children and families cope with emotional challenges, particularly in the face of trauma and violent crime in their neighborhood. CWC links partner schools with local mental health agencies to provide services that support students, families, and school.

CWC is a comprehensive school-based, community-driven mental health partnership that overcomes barriers to mental health treatment for children and families at participating elementary, middle, and K-8 schools.. Led by the Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention (AIP), the CWC model integrates full-time clinical supports provided by our partner agencies into the fabric of each school so that children, families, and the school benefit from the social/emotional expertise of a mental health professional that works side by side with teachers to support children’s success. CWC clinicians bring cultural competency to their work with the diverse populations who attend the CWC schools. For example, in East Boston, where the majority of students come from Spanish-speaking homes, we have bilingual/bicultural clinicians working with children and families in their native language.

CWC provides a range of mental health and emotional supports to children and families, with a special focus on Evidence-Based Treatments (EBTs) for trauma and anxiety, using the Trauma Systems Therapy (TST) and Coping Cat treatment models. CWC is Boston’s first mental health program to convene multi-agency, multi-disciplinary teams for implementation of EBTs, and the nation’s first to adapt Trauma Systems Therapy to the school setting. CWC places a high emphasis on family engagement and is the first program in Massachusetts to co-locate home-based services in some of our partner schools, providing teachers direct access to the professionals who are working with the families of their students and access to the continuum of services provided by the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI). CWC services are delivered by full-time, master’s-level mental health professionals, placed at each CWC school by our partner agencies and coordinated by AIP. Clinicians treat children in the school during the school day and meet with children and families on-site after school, at home visits, or at the clinicians’ agency. Services are provided during the school year and during the summer.

CWC directly addresses the financial, policy, system, and treatment barriers that have stymied other efforts to infuse schools with mental health services. CWC is making a system-wide impact through expanded school-based service partnerships and development of a collaboration infrastructure. Since 2008, CWC has been recognized by the U.S. Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) as a “Promising Innovative Practice.”

Connecting With Care

System Reform Elements

CWC demonstrates reforms in four important policy arenas related to children’s mental health and school-based services:

F -

Finance –

System of finance for children’s mental health

A -

Access –

 Access to mental health care

S -

Stigma –

 Stigmatization of mental health

T -

Trauma –

 Trauma treatment

For more information about Connecting With Care:

The Model

Who is it for?

Partners CWC Information

or contact the CWC Program Director


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