The CARE Team

Bunker Hill Community College has assembled a multi-disciplinary team of individuals to meet on weekly basis to identify patterns, trends, and disturbances in student(s) behavior. The team receives reports of disruptive, problematic, or concerning behavior and/or present a danger to oneself or others from faculty, staff and students.

The Behavioral Intervention team, known as The CARE Team (Campus Assessment, Response and Evaluation) gathers information, performs a threat assessment utilizing the NCHERM NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool, and determines the best mechanisms for support, intervention, warning/notification and response. The CARE team deploys on-campus resources, referrals to community resources and coordinates follow-up. The CARE Team is designed to identify behaviors prior to a significant incident.

The Mission of the CARE Team is to promote the health and safety of the campus community and individual members by coordinating information including longitudinal track of behaviors and developing support plans for students with concerning behavior.

The Team’s purpose is to:

  • Identify, access, and monitor students displaying moderate to extreme levels of distress, disruption, and or behavior, such as homicidal, suicidal, assaultive or self-injurious threats.
  • Implement timely interventions that protect the safety of the BHCC community at large, and the welfare of individual students.

The CARE Team serves as the centralized coordinated body for discussion and action regarding students exhibiting behaviors that indicate distress, cause a disturbance in the community, and/or present a danger to oneself or others. Concerns regarding behavior on the part of faculty or staff will be referred to Human Resources and reports on visitors will be referred to the Office of Public Safety and Campus Police.

Committed to proactive, early intervention, the CARE Team supports students directly and through consultation with campus and community partners. When necessary, the CARE Team works with the Crisis Intervention Team to the College community and coordinates appropriate action to ensure the safety of individual students and the College at large.

  • Receive, review, and catalogue information about concerns regarding a student’s behavior;
  • Perform initial behavioral assessment and, as needed, refer cases to other College officials for further assessment;
  • Develop specific strategies and protocols to manage a student’s potentially harmful or disruptive behavior in order to protect the safety and rights of both the individual and other community members;
  • Make recommendations to College officials on appropriate actions consistent with College policies and procedures;
  • Engage in ongoing refinement of Team procedures, especially intervention strategies and protocols;
  • Provide for on-going professional development and education in relevant areas; and
  • Identify College policy and procedural issues that interface with Team activities, such as the Code of Conduct and attendant judicial procedures, student withdrawal and re-entry policies, and the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). Note: If and when necessary, the Team defers to the Office of Public Safety and Campus Police, which will activate the Emergency Operations Plan.

Responsibilities of the Chair include:

  • Set the agenda for and facilitate meetings;
  • Manage meeting time;
  • Work with College counsel to assure appropriate record keeping and other procedures;
  • In cooperation with others, coordinate and triage referral of students of concern from offices across campus;
  • Coordinate activation of the Team and other relevant committees as appropriate; and
  • Post-meeting follow-up.

Responsibilities of CARE Response Coordinators:

  • Receive email notifications from electronic reports and respond within 1 business day.
  • Screen reports that need immediate referrals to Campus Police for emergency response.
  • Assemble the CARE team for response to issues in-between scheduled meetings.
  • Be available on-call after hours.
  • Keep longitudinal notes on all reports.
  • Report aggregate data on a semester basis.

Meetings and Response to an Incident:

The Team will meet weekly and as needed. When notified of a significant behavioral incident, the Team will initiate a full and prompt assessment. Based upon the findings, the Team will recommend one of the following actions:

  • No further action is needed;
  • Additional information is needed to evaluate the situation based on a rubric such as the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association Threat Assessment Tool (See Appendix I);
  • Refer to BHCC’s Code of Conduct and attendant judicial procedures for appropriate disciplinary action;
  • Refer for further assessment pursuant to BHCC’s withdrawal and re-entry polices; and
  • Refer the matter to the Office of Public Safety and Campus Police.

 

  • Increase identification of students whose behaviors are cause for concern;
  • Discuss situations brought to the Team’s attention by any member of the College community seeking guidance on disruptive and/or problematic behaviors that might lead to aggression or self-harm;
  • Centralize the process of collecting and assessing “red flags” raised by student behavior and documented by different sources within the College before there is a crisis;
  • Develop a coordinated plan to help students in crisis, mitigate risk, facilitate early intervention and protect and maintain campus safety;
  • Coordinate follow-up with the student to ensure that recommended services, support and resources are deployed effectively;
  • Balance FERPA, HIPAA, Disability laws, and counselor privilege with College need-to- know and the need for emergency communication; and
  • Protect the campus community in cases of imminent threats to self or others.

Before Intervention

Receiving Information

The Team will receive information about behaviors of concern through various channels, including online reporting, phone calls, e-mails, and individual conversations. Educating the entire campus community about which behaviors are cause for concern and how and under what circumstances to contact the Team is an important ongoing Team function. Those offices and individuals likely to receive reports about disturbed or disruptive students must be particularly well-informed about the process for contacting and relaying information to the Team.

Thresholds for Action and Investigation

Though the Team’s focus is not on “threat,” but rather a broader range of behavior, it should be prepared to differentiate warning signs that appear indicative of an imminent threat from those that generate lower levels of concern. Once the behavior of concern reaches the Team, its members may assess the meaning by framing the discussion with the following questions:

  1. What is the behavior?
  2. Where is the behavior occurring?
  3. How does the behavior affect the community?
  4. Is the identified student in imminent danger, or is he or she an imminent danger to the community?
  5. Are there any past documented incidents or behaviors?
  6. What do we know of the student’s academic performance or mental health history?
  7. Is there a documented disability?
  8. What are the ethical/legal issues?
  9. What systems need to be involved in finding more information or responding?

Depending on the behavior in question, the next steps might involve referral for counseling, the judicial system, or the Office of Public Safety and Campus Police. Note: If any direct and immediate threat is involved, the Office of Public Safety and Campus Police is notified immediately. That Office will determine whether or not to activate BHCC’s Emergency Operations Plan.

All situations should be examined from the following perspectives: (a) health and safety of the student and the community; (b) psycho-social and educational situation of the student; and (c) legal ramifications of a given situation.

Intervening

A range of common intervention options include:

  • Monitoring the situation;
  • Engage directly with the person to de-escalate the situation;
  • Work with a trusted peer or ally to monitor more closely;
  • Work with other departments to coordinate a plan of action (e.g. assessment, counseling, or disciplinary action);
  • Referral for mental health assessment or treatment;
  • Disciplinary review and action;
  • Notify family member(s), if and when appropriate;
  • Convene the Team;
  • Separation from the College (withdrawal, interim suspension, expulsion); and
  • Combination of the above.

After the Intervention

The process of managing student problems and crises unfolds over time and through a series of actions and events. As things progress, the Team will continually evaluate results of interventions and responses to them. The Team will follow each case until there is a consensus that either the problem has been resolved or the student is connected to the full array of services he or she needs and the problem is being actively addressed.

Members of the CARE Team

Response Coordinators

Receive and coordinate response to reports

Dean of Students (Chair) Dr. Julie Elkins
Director of Student Services (Chairs meeting in Dean of Students absence) Kevin Stevens

Core Team Members

Academic Administrator(s) Anne Brown and Amanda Dooling
Chief of Police Bobby Barrows
Consulting Psychologist MGH Dr. Lisa Solimon
Coordinator of Disability Services Andrea Schwartz
Coordinator of Health Services Denise Amerena
Deputy Chief of Police Matthew Sheldon
Senior Academic Counselors Sartreina Dottin and Sara Satham

Expert Consultants

Faculty Member for Academic Concerns
Associate Provosts for Charlestown/Chelsa Campus Ex Officio