Improving Vulnerable Children’s Health and School Success

CHHCS is a leading expert in school-connected programs and policies that help vulnerable children stay healthy and succeed in school. Children who are low-income, immigrants and refugees, or physically or emotionally challenged have been a special focus. In this work, CHHCS emphasizes the importance of linking schools with the multiple other systems that impact the well-being of vulnerable students, including primary care providers, hospital systems, government social services, and other community supports.

CHHCS helps foundations, state and local government agencies, school districts, as well as nongovernmental organizations to:

  • Connect, coordinate and align school-connected efforts to best support vulnerable students
  • Ensure a link between vulnerable student-focused programs and policies and a broader agenda to improve health and success for all students
  • Focus limited resources to maximize impact and sustainability
  • Incorporate the latest, and future, best practices in program and policy

Case Study

CARING ACROSS COMMUNITIES
CHHCS served as the National Program Office for Caring Across Communities (CAC), a national initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to implement school-connected mental health programs for immigrant and refugee children in 15 communities across the United States.

Grantee organizations were funded to provide culturally and linguistically accessible services to children and their families through a partnership among school districts, community mental health centers, multi-cultural service organizations, and other partners at the local and state levels. Programs were conducted in more than 20 languages across 36 schools, and included school-wide mental health promotion projects, group counseling, individual counseling, and home visitation services.

Through a variety of methods, CHHCS staff offered technical assistance and consultation on issues that included program implementation and mental health service delivery, cultural adaptation, program evaluation, partnership development, system integration, communications and marketing, legal and political issues, mental health interpretation, parent engagement, and sustainability.

Results: Over three years, CAC programs supported more than 9,000 students ages 3-18, engaged more than 4,600 parents/caregivers, and partnered with more than 4,500 other adults—teachers, counselors, other school health professionals—interested in working with immigrant and refugee youth.

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