Madison City Schools Launch Pioneering: In Madison, Alabama, a groundbreaking initiative is underway to support students facing trauma. Madison City Schools, in collaboration with first responders, has launched the state’s inaugural Handle With Care program. The program, pioneered by the National Children’s Advocacy Center, facilitates communication between first responders and schools to offer trauma-sensitive assistance to children who have undergone distressing experiences such as house fires or car accidents.
The Madison Police Department and Madison Fire and Rescue now employ new software accessible in service vehicles, iPads, and cell phones. This technology enables first responders to promptly notify the school system about a child’s exposure to a traumatic incident.
Chief David Bailey of Madison Fire and Rescue expressed enthusiasm about contributing an additional service to the community, emphasizing their readiness to provide crucial information to teachers and counselors.
Upon receiving a “Handle With Care” signal, schools can closely monitor students’ performance and implement specialized academic or counseling services as needed. Stephanie Allen, the Mental Health Services Coordinator for Madison City Schools, highlighted the availability of resources for students requiring additional support, emphasizing the program’s flexibility to cater to individual needs.
As the first of its kind in the state, the Handle With Care Program is now operational across all Madison City Schools, symbolizing a collaborative commitment to the well-being of students in the community.