CARE Support

Office of the Dean of Students

CARE Program (Concerns, Awareness, Referral, & Education)

The Plymouth State University CARE program provides holistic intervention and resource referral to connect students to appropriate campus and local resources supporting their success at PSU.

Through the use of a reporting tool, the CARE form, faculty, staff, students, and family members are able to alert the Dean of Students office when a student may be in need or when they may have experienced an emergency or significant incident impacting their ability to succeed – temporarily or long term – in the campus environment.

The majority of CARE reports result in routine referrals to campus and local resources. Most often, the CARE program makes small interventions that have a big impact on a student by getting them connected to the proper people and places on campus. In the event a student may be a danger to self or others, the Dean of Students or his designee reserves the right to contact a parent or guardian if emergency services has not already done so.

Additionally, the CARE program has a multi-disciplinary team that meets regularly to promote a safe learning and work environment. The CARE team examines and responds to matters of concern related to students and staff, coordinates interventions, and makes recommendations for further action. The team provides assistance to students in distress through consultation with concerned faculty, staff, and students, and referral to campus and off-campus resources.

Areas of focus

Concerns: through consultation with faculty, staff, and students, the team ensures appropriate information exchange, provides support for campus community members, and attempts to identify behaviors of concern to provide earlier intervention.

Awareness: when additional information is needed, the team functions as an examining and informing body, charged with gathering relevant information to determine a communication plan and to assess whether further action is required.

Referral: the team makes referrals to on- or off- campus resources. University policy, legal and regulatory requirements, the individual student’s needs, and the interests of the community guide the team’s actions.

Education: the team serves as a resource to educate the campus community on effective intervention strategies when concerns arise.

The CARE team, first titled the Behavioral Assessment Team, was established as a result of the tragedies that occurred at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois universities. Often, no single piece of information is enough to prevent a tragedy; however, the accumulation of information helps identify a person at risk, allowing for intervention, prevention and support. The CARE program serves as the conduit for information flow.

The existence of the team is a proactive approach to manage the complexities often involved with threats (to self or others), violence, and general behavioral or emotional challenges. Key objectives of the team are to identify, assess, manage and reduce potential threats and safety concerns to the university community and its members. Inherent to the work of this team are concerns about the privacy of all involved. The team members are extremely sensitive to these concerns and adhere to the highest standards of confidentiality.

The team provides assistance to students in distress through consultation with concerned faculty, staff, and students. In particular, the team works together regarding students whose behaviors are of concern because they may pose a threat to themselves or others. The primary focus is prevention with the goals of assisting students to succeed and educating concerned others about appropriate ways to help students.