Handle With Care Info for Teachers

  • Handle With Care (HWC) cards should not require any additional work from teachers. We ask that the student you have been handed a HWC card for be given a little more understanding, patience, and grace today, as it is very likely they've had a tough night. If this student experiences difficulty today with disruptions, please send them to the counselor or nurse.

  • Here are some ideas of ways to extend care to students who you have received a HWC card for:

    • If a test is scheduled for the day, consider allowing the student to postpone it.​

    • If the student did not complete homework that day, consider extending the deadline for them.

    • If the student needs to rest, consider sending them to the nurse to allow them to take a nap.

    • If behavioral or interpersonal issues occur, instead of pursuing disciplinary actions, consider sending the student to the counselor or nurse to remove them from the situation and give them time to calm down or talk things out.

How HWC Works

  • When a student is exposed to violence or trauma, a law enforcement officer takes down that child's information for their report. Every morning, DAC searches the police reports from the night before to identify students who have potentially experienced trauma and contact the student's School Resource Officer (SRO). The SRO then facilitates the distribution of a Handle With Care Card to that student's teachers at their school.

  • Teachers, please observe student's behavior/academic performance and utilize trauma sensitive interventions as appropriate.

    • Trainings are being developed now by DAC and will be posted soon.​

  • If student exhibits problems (emotional/behavioral/academic, etc.), the teacher should refer the child to the school counselor or school nurse.

  • The school counselor or nurse should assess the student's needs to determine if counseling/services are needed and make a recommendation to the parent/guardian.

  • The counselor, nurse, or social worker should refer the caregiver/student for follow-up services as deemed appropriate.

  • The school should attempt to obtain written consent from the parent/guardian for care providers and school staff to communicate about the best interest of the student.


This program, along with the explanation of it above, was directly inspired by that of West Virginia. The pilot program was run in WV and more information on it can be found here: http://www.handlewithcarewv.org/handle-with-care.php


532 W Jefferson Blvd. 

Fort Wayne, IN 46802


Tel: 260.422.8412

Email:  coordinator@dacac.org


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