Handle With Care Massachusetts

Handle With Care Relaunch- Plymouth County

On February 25, 2021- District Attorney Tim Cruz kicked off the relaunch of the Handle with Care Program across Plymouth County.

District Attorney Cruz and the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI) first implemented the “Helping Traumatized Children Learn” model as a pilot program in the  Brockton Public Schools in 2008.

The goal was two-fold:

  1. To treat the child victims and witnesses of violence by treating their exposure to adverse childhood experiences.
  2. To prevent the next generation of abusers.

District Attorney Cruz and members of his staff trained the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice on the “Helping Traumatized Children Learn” model.  In turn, the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice used the training to develop the “Handle with Care” communication protocol to help schools better identify students with ACEs.

West Virginia first implemented “Handle with Care” at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School in Charleston, WV in 2013.

Prior to this relaunch, the Handle with Care Program has been utilized by several of our school districts across Plymouth County – under various titles.  This relaunch now brings a cohesive county-wide approach to this program.

The way the Handle with Care program works:

If a law enforcement officer encounters a child during a call, that child’s information is forwarded to the school before the school bell rings the next day. The school implements individual, class and whole school trauma-sensitive curricula so that traumatized children are “Handled With Care”. If a child needs more intervention, on-site trauma-focused mental healthcare is available at the school.