Boston Children’s Hospital has a long history of collaboration with Boston Public Schools. For 16 years, the Boston Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships (BCHNP) program has aimed to promote the social, emotional, and behavioral health of diverse youth and families through high quality, innovative, and culturally relevant clinical care, education, and advocacy in Boston’s schools and community health centers where children and adolescents live and learn. Given this mission and
BCHNP’s long standing partnerships with BPS, Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) was in a unique position to partner with CBHM at multiple levels since its start. Funding from the Office of Community Health at BCH has supported CBHM’s efforts in obtaining resources and building capacity for both social emotional learning and universal screening. In the 2017/2018 school year, 8 of BCHNP’s 17 partnering schools were CBHM schools.
Since 2002, BCHNP’s School-Based Program has brought comprehensive youth- and family-centered behavioral health services consistent with a multi-tiered system of support framework to youth in BPS. In the 2017/2018 school year alone, BCHNP implemented clinical (e.g., individual therapy, crisis intervention), early intervention (e.g., group therapy, case management), and prevention/promotion (e.g., classroom and school-wide social emotional learning) services with over 1,000 students in seven elementary, K-8, middle, and high schools. BCHNP has facilitated numerous social emotional learning initiatives in its partner schools, including Break Free from Depression, a depression awareness curricula utilized by many CBHM schools for high school students.
Since 2015, TAP has extended the School-Based Program’s efforts by bringing professional development workshops and individualized consultation to BPS school staff. In the 2017/2018 school year, an additional five Boston K-5/K-8 schools started their two year partnership with TAP, extending TAP’s reach to a total of 15 schools since 2015. This year, TAP facilitated ten professional development workshops and provided over 700 hours of consultation to identified behavioral health teams in ten partnering K-5/K-8 schools enrolling nearly 3,000 students. Through participation in these services, school-based teams acquire the capacity to bring professional learning back to the entire school community in numerous ways, including through workshops for all staff in the partnering school. TAP co-facilitated 17 such workshops this year on topics consistent with CBHM’s tenets of addressing student behavioral health needs early and systemically. In the past year, all TAP participants indicated that they were making changes in their work to help meet the pressing behavioral health needs of students in their schools.
Through partnership, consultation, service delivery, and professional development, BCHNP has helped promote, expand, and align CBHM in the district while meeting one of its program goals of promoting systemic change in behavioral health service delivery.
TAP aims to build sustainable systems, processes, and resources around targeted goals to address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs in schools.
BFFD is a four-module curriculum focused on increasing awareness about adolescent depression, designed to be used in high school classrooms