Handle With Care Massachusetts

Past Events

The RX Drug Abuse and Heroin Virtual Summit

April 5-8, 2021
RX Summit presentation

The DECI team has been selected to present at this year’s RX Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit.

District Attorney Tim Cruz, Family Center Executive Director Melinda Kneeland and Ed Jacoubs, the former Director of Grants & Sponsored Projects for the PCDA will facilitate a discusion on “Trauma-Informed Response to Serve Drug Endangered Children during COVID.”

Helping Kids Cope

March 3, 2021

Supporting Children Impacted by Addiction

20 people attended this free virtual class developed by DECI Clinical Advocate Kati Mapa and Lauren Connors from the Family Center.

This course covered the impact that substance misuse has on children. Parents and caregivers were educated on self-care, basic child development, how to talk with the child, and what professional supports are available.


Meet the Author:  “Hey Kiddo”

January 12, 2021

Presented by Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force, in partnership with DECI, BAPC, PAPC and PYDC.

Meet the Author: Jarrett Krosoczka, was a free, virtual event on January 12th at 7:00 PM.

Jarrett Krosoczka is the award-winning author of “Hey Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father and Dealt with Family Addiction”, a graphic memoir appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Event was geared towards:
• grandparents raising grandchildren
• school staff
• middle school librarians
•art teachers

The response to this event was overwhelmingly positive- organizers and participants agreed the presentation exceeded expectations.  Here are some comments received about Jarrett Krosoczka’s presentation:

“Ok, that guy is amazing!  I loved to hear about where he came from, and some of it brought me to tears.  I just LOVED his demeanor, his candidness and his inspirational outlook, he broke the cycle!”

“Thank you very much for the webinar las tnight, I enjoyed it very much.”

“Awesome event last night!!  I really enjoyed it!!”

“Fabulous program tonight! Thank you so very much!”

“It was awesome, thank you, by the end my 10 year old granddaughter was listening as well and is now wanting to read the book.  Thank you.”

“Thank you for a fabulous event.  I feel priveleged to have been able to attend.”

First Responders Virtual Rounds with Dr. Dan Muse

December 8, 2020

District Attorney Tim Cruz and the DECI team were invited to present on the topic of Adverse Childhood Experiences to Dr. Dan Muse’s First Responders “Virtual Rounds”.

Approximately 300 EMTs, Firefighters and ER Staff attended the virtual conference.

As a result of this training, the DECI team is now collaborating with the Brockton Fire Department for further training and is expanding the Handle with Care program to include fire and ambulance personnel.

DA Cruz at Deci event

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Donations

November 21, 2020
Traditional Thanksgiving meal donations

 On Saturday, November 21st, District Attorney Tim Cruz and members of the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, in partnership with PACC, New Life Temple and Life After Death distributed over 400 frozen turkeys with all the ingredients for a traditional Thanksgiving meal to Brockton residents in need.

Special thanks to the Brockton Redevelopment Authority and Tufts Medical for their donations and financial support.

Members of the DEC Initiative were on hand to assist with the distribution.

DECI Subcommittee Quarterly Meeting

October 27, 2020
Twitter post re- Oct 2020 Quarterly meeting

Thanks to all who joined us for our quarterly meeting.  We had updates from PCO, HUB, CAC, and DCF.  There was a presentation on the progress of our many projects. 

Fiona Jensen from Calmer Choice spoke about the brain science behind mindfulness and how Calmer Choice has adapted their offerings to virtual platforms.

District Attorney Cruz jouined us to thank all of our community partners for their collaboration and shared the good news that DECI will purchase copies of “Mama Paca” and “Sam the Superhero and His Super Life”. for use by PCO and the Family Center.

Resiliency in the “New Normal”

September 10, 2020

During the month of August, the DECI team worked with the Brockton Area Prevention Collaborative, the Plymouth Area Prevention Collaborative and PYDC on a virtual professional development for school staff titled “Resiliency in the New Normal: How educators can care for students, their families and themselves.” 

Over 150 school staff from across Plymouth County tuned in to learn about what distinguishes trauma from stress, how mindfulness can help build resilience, how the pandemic is impacting Plymouth County.

photo 1

Helping Traumatized Children Learn: System-Wide Trainings

September 9, 2020
TLPI Carver Training

A virtual “Helping Traumatized Children Learn” training was held for the Carver School Professionals

“To the Moon and Back” Caregiver Support Group

August 12, 2020

 The Drug Endangered Children Initiative made a presentation to the “To the Moon and Back” caregiver support group on the topic of trauma, ACEs and DECI.

“Camp Counselor & Staff Training: Trauma & Resilience” 

June 30, 2020
July 1, 2020
July 2, 2020

A free online training for day camps throughout Plymouth County

Presented by: Jen Cantwell & Kati Mapa, DECI in collaboration with Kelly Macomber, PYDC

5 things to remember

“Maximizing Data: Using PMT and Program Data for Performance Management

June 2, 2020

Presented by Ed Jacoubs, Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office & Melinda Kneeland, United Way of Greater Plymouth County

Department of Mental Health Webinar

May 29, 2020
May 2020 tweet DECI

On May 29th District Attorney Tim Cruz made a presentation on the Drug Endangered Children Initiative to a Massachusetts Department of Mental Health gathering of forensic professionals from the trial courts and state hospitals. This presentation has already led to new collaboration opportunities with the courts.

National RX Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, Nashville, TN

April 15, 2020

On April 15,  The DECI team was scheduled to attend the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Nashville before the COVID 19 pandemic forced the cancellation of travel.

The Rx Summit was held virtually and Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz and Melinda Kneeland were able to present “Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative: Harnessing Community Expertise to Enhance Service Delivery to Vulnerable Children”.

RX Summit tweet April 2020

Helping Traumatized Children Learn: System-Wide Trainings

March 12, 2020- Silver Lake Regional School District Training
March 3, 2020- Scituate School District Training
March 3, 2020- Whitman-Hanson School District
DA at March 3 trainings

On March 3, two system-wide Helping Traumatized Children Learn trainings were held. School staff in the Whitman-Hanson and Scituate school districts were trained by our partners at TLPI. Silver Lake Regional High School received the training on March 12.

Scituate Schools dedicated an entire day of professional development to the topic of addressing trauma, using the three-hour TLPI training as a foundation for their own expanded program. At the Scituate PD day, East Bridgewater shared expertise on communication between police and schools from SRO, Officer Tallitha Connor and Behavior Specialist, Christy Anderson.

Greg Ranieri from Scituate Schools wrote a detailed plan for their training and gave Plymouth County DECI permission to share with schools interested in planning similar program.

Building Resilient Communities, Building Resilient Children

March 2, 2020
DA at March 2 training

The DECI team helped organize the Building Resilient Communities, Building Resilient Children statewide convening at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester on March 2.

District Attorney Tim Cruz, Ed Jacoubs and Melinda Kneeland presented at the event.

The convening was attended by over 200 professionals interested in making Massachusetts a trauma informed state.

Drug Endangered Children: Building a Coordinated Response

November 6, 2019- Stonehill College

On Wednesday, November 6​th​, 2019 approximately 135 police officers, DCF workers, service providers, school staff and court personnel gathered at Stonehill College’s Martin Institute for training by the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children.

The training, “Building a Coordinated Response” highlighted the challenges and benefits of collaboration between agencies to identify and assist families impacted by substance use.

The training, sponsored by the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force, opened with remarks by Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz and a data presentation by Stonehill College professor and Executive Director of Kelley Research Associates, Pamela Kelley.

The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children trainers, retired Lieutenant Eric Nation and Stacee Read, MSW, brought years of experience and different perspectives to the topics of identifying drug endangered children and moving from awareness to action.

After learning how to identify drug endangered children, including how children living in dangerous drug environments can get overlooked, training attendees spent the afternoon working on effective collaboration.  Collaboration,  information sharing and gathering leads to better decision-making and improved outcomes.

The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children training was presented as part of the Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative, a collaboration between the Plymouth County Drug Abuse Task Force, Plymouth County Outreach and the United Way of Greater Plymouth County’s Family Center.  The DEC Initiative is funded by a federal grant awarded to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office from the Office for Victims of Crime.

event flyer