Connection Quest: Linking our schools with the agencies serving children, youth & families.
Click on the Connection Quest image above to access the Google Drive File for your resource mapping needs.
January's Featured Resources
School Health & Safety Forum for School Nurses
(1 Hour CNE Credit)
January 14, 2021
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Training
Texas Gateway Module Trainings are always FREE and PROTECT Texas trainings are FREE until February 28, 2021
LEA Staff Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Training
LEA School Board Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Training
Additional Training Opportunities:
- January 6, 2021 10:00AM-12:00PM Human Trafficking 101
- January 13, 2021 10:00AM-12:00PM Cyber Crimes
- January 20, 2021 10:00AM-12:00PM Introducing CARE Team
- January 27, 2021 10:00AM-12:00PM Trauma Informed Care/Case Studies
Below is the Texas RISE to the Challenge training. Also included is a human trafficking manual for school personnel developed by the Task Force. Additional resources may be available in your area.
1) Introduction to Human Trafficking for Education Professionals: Texas RISE to the Challenge (PDF, 2193 KB)
3) Human Trafficking Power and Control Wheel (outside source)
Human Trafficking in America's Schools - Released by the U.S. Department of Education, this guide helps school officials: understand how human trafficking impacts schools, recognize the indicators of possible child trafficking, and develop policies, protocols, and partnerships to address and prevent the exploitation of children.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration of Children’s and Families, Children’s Bureau: Sex Trafficking in Schools
Reporting: Identification of possible human trafficking is important, but subsequent reporting is crucial. If you suspect a child is a victim of human trafficking, please contact:
- 911 in case of emergency
- Local law enforcement, or
- DFPS at 1 (800)-252-5400
Thank you for all for what you are doing for Texas students during these unprecedented times. Our schools continue to play an important role in ensuring the safety of children. As you engage with your students, please consider these factors, as some signs of maltreatment that you have been trained to notice may still be present, even virtually.
• Is the child frequently alone in the residence when you are working/checking with them? Or are they being made to be responsible for other children in the home?
• Does the parent/caregiver appear overly stressed or frightened? • Have you noticed a significant change in the child’s mood or behavior? • Has the child eaten today?
If you do have reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect, you MUST make a report. Make reports to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400 or the Texas Abuse Hotline website for non-emergency reports.
Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations.
As the nation's clearinghouse and comprehensive reporting center for all issues related to the prevention of and recovery from child victimization, NCMEC leads the fight against abduction, abuse, and exploitation - because every child deserves a safe childhood. Hope is why we're here.
Since 1998, NCMEC has operated the CyberTipline, a place where the public and electronic service providers can report suspected online and offline child sexual exploitation. The millions of reports made each year uniquely situate NCMEC to identify trends and create prevention resources to address the evolving needs of kids and teens online.
NetSmartz is NCMEC's online safety education program. It provides age-appropriate videos and activities to help teach children to be safer online with the goal of helping children to become more aware of potential online risks and empowering them to help prevent victimization by making safer choices on- and offline.
The Culture Reframed Program for Parents of Tweens and Program for Parents of Teens build young people’s resilience and resistance to hypersexualized media and porn while promoting their healthy development. These free online programs provide culturally competent, research-driven, age-based educational videos, conversation scripts, and resources for parents. These programs can be used online by parents and other concerned adults. The programs can also be presented in live settings by downloading the PowerPoints and supporting resources.
Resources for Educator Wellness
|New Toolkit: COVID-19 and Mental Health Considerations Amid Reintegration to School|
Resources Addressing Child Maltreatment During COVID-19
To assist educators facing difficult situations during remote or in-person learning, the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University compiled a list of state and national resources. It includes information on preventing, identifying, and reporting suspected child abuse, neglect, and trafficking. To view the resources please visit https://txssc.txstate.edu/topics/mental-health/articles/covid-child-maltreatment.
Trauma-Informed Training Series
As a result of school closures and remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been at higher risk of exposure due to adverse childhood experiences and first-hand exposure to the effects of COVID-19. We also know that many educators have themselves experienced a prolonged state of stress over the course of the pandemic and share many of the concerns regarding loss of safety, health, and predictability as students upon the return to school.
That’s why TEA has launched Project Restore and this trauma-informed training video series, which is designed to address these extraordinary and unprecedented needs and connect you to relevant science and strategies that can help you address your own emotional needs as well the needs of your students and colleagues. This series will help educators create an environment that jump-starts teaching and learning and drives student achievement.
Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs)
School districts can connect their students, staff, and faculty to mental health resources through their respective Local Mental Health Authority. Each Local Mental Health Authority (LMHA) provides services to a specific geographic area of the state, called a local service area. The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) requires each LMHA to plan, develop policy, coordinate, allocate, and develop resources for mental health services in its local service area. HHSC contracts with 39 LMHAs to deliver mental health services in communities across Texas. LMHAs provide psychiatric crisis response through 24-hour hotlines and mobile crisis outreach teams. LMHAs also provide behavioral health services and referrals for Texans seeking behavioral health services. LMHAs routinely outreach to community partners as well as serve as resources in their respective communities for training related to behavioral health and the coordination of behavioral health services during disasters.
Below are two ways to identify the LMHA which serves each LEA:
Download a copy of the crosswalk of Texas LMHAs and LEAs. This tool identifies each Texas school system with their corresponding Texas LMHA and includes the LMHA name, website, and crisis line.
You can also access information through the online LMHA search tool: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/mhservices-search. You can search for the referral line phone number of each LMHA by city, county, or zip code using the online mental health services search form. You may call the referral line of the LMHA in your area for confidential help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Services may include:
- Referrals for student or family mental health services
- Prevention/Intervention/Post-vention Training
- Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) Counseling support in times of crisis or disaster
- Crisis Counseling Hotlines
- Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Hotlines
Please contact your LMHA for specific services available in your county – with links to websites
Region 2 LMHAs
- McMullen County
- Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, and San Patricio Counties
- Nueces County