Trauma Informed Care

NYCDOE cares deeply about the social-emotional health and wellbeing of NYCDOE’s children, families, and staff. We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting repercussions across New York City have had significant impacts.

In response to this, through cross-divisional and inter-agency partnerships, the NYCDOE will implement a comprehensive, multi-part professional learning series that empowers teachers with foundational knowledge and basic skills of trauma-informed care. This is for all staff serving students from Birth to 5 and K-12 populations. Anchored in a continuum from trauma-aware to trauma-informed, this series will include foundational elements to be completed between July and September 2020 with the possibility of supplemental sessions interspersed throughout the school year.

These trauma modules include examination of equity and cultural considerations, the importance of adult self-care, and actionable trauma-informed strategies for classroom teachers and all support staff. School leaders will also participate in a supplemental training series that offers specialized content for framing trauma-informed care in a broader school vision and how to establish systems of support for implementation. 

Targeted Mental Health Supports 

NYCDOE has a robust network of mental health services for students. Schools have established relationships with programs and resources to provide direct services, community linkages and referrals, staff coaching and training, and crisis response. These include School Mental Health Clinics, on-site CBO-provided direct counseling services (Prevention and Intervention Program, Community School Mental Health), School Mental Health Consultant Program, School Response Clinicians, Children’s Mobile Crisis Team, and NYCDOE Social Workers and School Counselors.

All programs and partners are prepared to address the expected increase in student mental health needs upon returning to schools. Students’ increased exposure to trauma and loss and the extended separation from core support systems will also necessitate expanded access to direct mental health supports (in person or through tele-therapy).

Following implementation of the aforementioned “stabilization period” and concurrently with robust Tier 1 interventions, schools will use data to make determinations about the appropriate group or individual intervention for students in need.