The School Crisis Response Initiative of the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence at the Yale Child Study Center was funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice. This initiative is a collaboration of the Yale Child Study Center and community mental health professionals, law enforcement representatives, and local and state educational agencies. The program's mission is to empower school staff through planning and training by consulting with schools to develop their capacity to meet students' emotional and mental health needs during and after a crisis and by providing school-based crisis response teams with technical assistance to help them resolve problems that arise in specific crisis situations. Funding from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), U.S. Department of Justice, supported the publication of this bulletin.1
The School Crisis Response Initiative's first goals were to develop and implement an organizational model for school crisis preparedness and response,2 establish and coordinate training to enable school staff to respond effectively in crisis situations, and enhance community resources to address emerging mental health needs of children and adolescents in crisis settings. Since 1991, the initiative has been presented to many state, national, and international audiences of various educational, health, and juvenile justice professionals, including school administrators, teachers, school nurses, physicians, psychologists, social workers, and bereavement counselors. Approximately 10,000 school staff members and specialists in related services have received training, including more than 500 school- and district-level teams. Program staff have provided technical assistance for approximately 200 school crises, many of which involved the death of a student or school staff member.