When it’s more than a bad day

May 1, 2015  //  United Way

TeenAnyone can have a bad day at school. Forgotten homework, too many video games before bed or an annoying little brother can all contribute to a cranky kid at school. But when crankiness becomes a daily issue that interferes with learning, it’s time to find out what is going on.

That is when a SCIP (School Community Intervention & Prevention) screening can help. “We train professionals in our schools to intervene and offer support for students who are displaying at-risk behaviors,” said Kelly Madchero, in her sixth year as director of the program. Based with the Lincoln Medical Education Partnership, SCIP has been around since 1983 and funding provided by United Way helps in both public and private schools.

Rose Hood Buss, one of three school coordinators for SCIP, knows first-hand how the program can impact even the youngest children—like Torie. Just eight years old, Torie was a foster child with multiple family placements in her young life. Finally adopted by a caring family that she loved, Torie’s world seemed to be on track until a routine visit with a counselor revealed a hidden secret. Torie was afraid she might hurt her parents. A team of SCIP volunteers in her school met to assess the issue and worked with Torie’s parents to get the outside help she needed. What could have been a tragedy for Torie and her parents was turned into an opportunity to address some serious underlying issues.

SCIP offers training, workshops and current research-based information to keep SCIP team members up-to-date on how to respond. “We find solutions that help a student stay on the path to graduate,” said Machedro.

Sarah Kramer, director of fund distribution at United Way, said that funding for SCIP allows a team to “rally around a student to make a referral that can support a student who has gotten off track.”

United Way allocates funds to four programs including SCIP that provide professional intervention, clinical treatment, counseling and therapeutic case management for children and youth said Brian Wachman, executive director. “Our funded programs use qualified, professional staff and invest significant time with each client. These programs truly make a difference for young people,” he said.

For more about SCIP: www.lmep.com

Real names of clients are never used in United Way articles.
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