Home » Local News, Rotating Features

Handle with Care program identifies kids who encounter traumatic events

Submitted by on August 13, 2019 – 12:44 amNo Comment

A new program is being rolled out at Alpena Public Schools in 2019-20, that will inform administrators, teachers and staff of students who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.

Essentially, when a police officer encounters a child during a call, that child’s name and three words, HANDLE WITH CARE, will be forwarded to the school before the bell rings the next day.

APS is partnering with three local agencies that will then provide additional care and support for that student, as needed.

According to the Handle with Care: Michigan Initiative, a recent national survey of the incidence and prevalence of children’s exposure to violence and trauma revealed that 60% of American kids have been exposed to violence, crime or abuse. Forty percent were direct victims of two or more violent acts.

Organizers of the initiative say prolonged exposure to violence and trauma can seriously undermine children’s ability to focus, behave appropriately, and learn in school.

APS administrators say Handle with Care “…is a great opportunity to work together with community partnerships to help children feel safe, supported, and achieve success at their highest potential despite any traumatic circumstances they may have experienced.”