Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (TASN)
provides technical assistance to support school districts’ systematic implementation of evidence-based practices.

Interconnecting School and Community Mental Health Systems to Foster Trauma-Sensitive Schools

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Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can impede the ability of children and adolescents to succeed socially and academically. Students dealing with ACEs are more likely to fail a grade, score lower on standardized achievement tests, have more receptive or expressive language difficulties, are suspended or expelled from school more often, and are designated to special education more frequently. Research indicates that 20% of children and youth have a clearly identified need for mental health service but only about one-third of these children receive any help at all. Of children who do receive any type of mental health service, over 70% receive the service from their school. A report compiled by the Center for Children and Families at the University of Kansas found that barriers to addressing these needs in schools include consistency in services, relationships with families, little mental health training, stigma, and access to services. To meet the needs of children and adolescents there needs to be strong, cross-system collaboration between schools and community providers. As a result of this session, participants will be able to:

  • List the ways in which trauma impacts the ability of children to succeed in the school setting.
  • Explain the need to support schools systemically in order to maximize efforts to help children who have been impacted by trauma.
  • Identify strategies to systematically align community and school efforts utilizing already-existing frameworks and practices.