Manatee County’s Handle with Care (HWC) program is a multiagency collaborative effort to increase knowledge and awareness when a student has experienced a traumatic event in their home or community. Manatee was the first county in Florida to adopt the HWC model that was originally developed in West Virginia. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, the School District of Manatee County (SDMC) partnered with all local law enforcement agencies to establish an immediate notification system when a student enrolled in a district school becomes involved with an active case. This system was designed to notify school principals, teachers, counselors, nurses, and other staff that a student may be experiencing some level of trauma and to simply be aware, if outward signs of problems begin to emerge. During the 2019-2020 school year the SDMC was awarded a grant that allows the district to monitor each student involved with HWC and ensure they are connected to appropriate supports and services, if any outward signs do present.
For more information, please contact Suzy Ardila at (941) 751-6550 ext. 43112