What is Team of Concern?Team of Concern is a community and school based program that provides student, teachers, parents, and families with preventive education and information that increases a person's abilities to avoid risk taking behaviors which could lead to alcohol and other drug use. The goal is to strengthen children, families, and the community to ensure that every youth has a chance to overcome obstacles to living a healthy productive life. Team of Concern also provides individualized supportive services to at-risk youth.
Who is an "at risk" Youth?Any time a change in your child causes you concern or makes you question it is wise to err on the side of caution and do a little further investigation; this may be just a detailed conversation, a phone call to a counselor, or perhaps a brief screening. Exposure to alcohol or other drugs in the home is a significant risk factor at any age
At-Risk Behaviors:This list is not intended to be all inclusive; it is a brief screening to determine if further evaluation is necessary. The list is broken down by age range, as a guideline. Some young people may have signs that are represented in more than one "age group" as these concerns all fall under 6 general domains: social /emotional, behavioral, education/vocational, family, legal and environment. If you have even one of the concerns below, further evaluation is recommended.
- Lack of interest in activities outside the school or home setting
- Lack of parental involvement (school or social)
- Lying or stealing
- Fear of new experiences or people
- Unable to communicate feelings appropriately
- School concerns (academic or behavioral)
- Willingness to take unnecessary risk (riding bike without a helmet)
- Unable to effectively manage conflict
- Experimenting with alcohol, tobacco or other drugs or evidence related to the use of alcohol or other drugs from Face Book, on email, or other social media.
- Isolation from family
- Sudden or quick change in peer groups
- Lack of interest in usual activities
- Lack of clear and consistent rules(school, family, neighborhood)
- Drop in grades or attendance
- Sudden change in appearance to include dress and physical appearance (smell of smoke or alcohol, red eyes)
- Lack of involvement with family activities
- Giving up activities that used to be of interest
- Unable to accurately identify and express emotion
- Mental health concerns (depression, anxiety, ADHD, anger)
- Alcohol or other drug use in the family
- Single parent homes
- Social, Emotional, and/or Behavioral health concerns
- Family history of addiction or other mental health disorders
- Socio economic status
- High exposure environments
- Willingness to engage in other risky behaviors
(smoking cigarettes, fighting, stealing, meeting strangers online)
- Grief - loss of loved one, close friend, or end of a relationship
- Trauma - physical, emotional or sexual
Universal PreventionTOC Universal Prevention activities are conducted by the School Teams Coordinator (STC) using evidence based or promising practice models for service delivery. These activities are designed to align with both the Positive Behavioral Intervention Support programs and character education models in use in partner districts, this programming can easily be modified to meet the needs of both school districts and individual buildings on either an ongoing basis or as a situational enhancement.
TOC Awareness Trainings (Professional Development) - Trainings are provided for all faculty and staff of partnering school districts we serve and address current trends, how to identify at risk students, proper methods for referral, consultation regarding drug and alcohol policies, educational presentations related to substance use /abuse (including signs and symptoms of abuse and trends), referral assistance, resource sharing, and parent education.
Student Awareness Activities - Activities are held in each partner school. Activities inform students how the program works and provide education and awareness related to alcohol and other drugs. Activities may include lunch booths, classroom presentations, small group settings, booths at school events, interactive activities and games, informational handouts, school wide events, and contests. Education focuses on how to acquire and use skills that promote responsibility, resiliency, good decision making, emotion management, pro-social, and other protective factors.
Community Awareness Activities - Activities promoting awareness and education about alcohol and other drugs are held throughout participating districts and are directed toward the larger community, including parents, social service agencies, government, and other residents. Activities include fairs, homecoming parades, art contests, and talent shows for the community.
How can a student receive help?Anyone can identify a student that they believe would benefit from involvement the TOC program. Those who want to make a referral, including school administration, teachers, parents, and peers are provided with a short checklist to help identify behaviors that are or might be of concern. When intervention and/or referrals are determined to be in best interest of the student, TOC and/or school staff contact the students' parent/legal guardian, discuss the presenting concerns and then work to schedule an appointment at a TOC office, school, or at the youth's home.
What happens after a referral?
- The School Team Coordinator and/or school staff will contact the family and talk about the student's current concerns and available resources.
- Information about the youth's concern/s is gathered, assessing both the youth's strengths and needs.
- Team members discuss the best recommendations.
- Youth accepted into the Team of Concern Early Intervention program will be assigned a Counselor and/or Care Coordinator through Preferred Family Healthcare.
- The student, family, and PFH staff develop and implement interventions that will address areas of concern to develop skills and abilities to overcome barriers to a healthy, productive, and successful life.
- If the services needed are beyond the scope of the Team of Concern program, families are connected to the most appropriate community resource.
- Preferred Family Healthcare staff
- Guidance Counselors and Teachers
- Administrators and School Support Staff
- Community partners
- Parents (most importantly)