Spofford’s REACH TO TEACH program is inherently flexible, adapting easily to any school district. It combines direct intervention in schools and homes with advocacy and facilitated access of available community resources.
To begin with, Family Resource Specialists at Spofford work with school personnel to identify and address social factors that contribute to school failure. These factors include, but are not limited to: alcohol and drug abuse; illiteracy; mental or physical illness; and very low household income. Such factors can create an unpredictable, unsupervised, chaotic, and/or dangerous environment for children.
Children from such environments show a variety of symptoms. They may become despondent, uninterested, disengaged, aggressive, or otherwise nonfunctional at school often leading to disciplinary problems and absence from the classroom.
REACH TO TEACH is a stabilizer that helps connect families to resources in the school and in the community and keep children in the classroom and engaged in the learning process.
The objective of REACH TO TEACH is to afford children the greatest opportunity to achieve social and academic success, by reducing risk factors and increasing protections such that children can excel at home, school, and in their community.
Specifically, program outcomes are based on improved emotional and social success measured by multiple measures such as academic progress, reduction in disciplinary actions, reduction in intensity of disciplinary behaviors, improved attendance, and improved parental participation and engagement.
Spofford’s REACH TO TEACH School-based Case Management program further demonstrates our commitment to the prevention of child abuse by building protective factors around children and families to foster healthy social and emotional child development.
The time to intervene is early:
- 20% of America’s 80 million children (about 16 million) have a diagnosable mental disorder from mild to severe. (President’s New Freedom Commission Report on Mental Health 2003).
- Suicide rates doubled in the 5-14 year age group from 1979 to 1997 (Nat’l Vital Statistics Reports, CDC, 1999) and in 2000, suicide was the third leading cause of death among children ages 10-14.
- Depression is the leading cause of suicide, present in 90 percent of the cases (Nat’l Institute of Mental Health, 2003).
- Only 50% of children with mental & emotional problems receive adequate treatment (National Mental Health Association).
- 50% of children with a mental illness drop out of high school.