Not every student fits into school like a puzzle piece. Circumstances in life can create barriers for families and prevent children from functioning well in a school setting. Children's Hospital Boston is focused on supporting the Boston Public Schools (BPS) to reach these students and families in a variety of ways:
• Children's Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships (CHNP) offers intervention, prevention, case management and crisis response services to students and families in Boston area schools. To help schools build the capacity to address their students' mental health needs, CHNP also provides consultation, training and support services for school staff.
• Supporting the Health of Immigrant Families and Adolescents (Project SHIFA) provides culturally appropriate mental health care for Somali youth and their families. Project SHIFA aims to decrease disparities in mental health by effectively engaging and treating Somali refugees. Approximately 300 parents and community members have received education and anti-stigma information over the past three years.
• The Advocating Success for Kids (ASK) program partners with families and offers case management to help them obtain school-based services and provides the information needed for parents to become better advocates for their children.
• Parent University engages BPS parents by providing workshops on a variety of topics such as asthma, behavioral health and nutrition. Children's clinicians and staff offer their expertise by leading workshops.
• Countdown to Kindergarten promotes school readiness and supports incoming kindergartners and their parents with this important transition. Children's partners with Countdown to support their partnerships and programs.
• The Young Parents Program at Children's advocates for teen parents in their efforts to balance family responsibilities with the demands of school. Teenage parents need a higher level of support to stay in school.
To address a wide-range of health needs and support the school system, Children's programs provide teachers and school staff with:
• training and support on topics such as social, emotional and behavioral health, asthma and autism.
• scholarships for BPS nurses to participate in educational and professional development opportunities.