Our Solutions

Build School-Community Partnerships

Working with local, state, and national leaders in education, health, and philanthropy, CHHCS helps partners:

  • Design solutions to fit community context
  • Integrate and prioritize strategies
  • Focus limited resources to maximize impact and sustainability
  • Incorporate best practices in program and policy
  • Define a common vision and create a work plan to achieve these goals
  • Convene multi-sector stakeholders to foster knowledge exchange and strengthen collaboration
Developing Comprehensive School Mental Health Capacity in Washington, D.C.

Children who live in Wards 7 and 8 in Washington, D.C., face multiple impediments that limit their readiness to learn and their healthy development. In these communities, nearly 50 percent of children live below the Federal Poverty Level and over 50 percent struggle with untreated mental health needs. 

In partnership with the Bainum Family Foundation, CHHCS worked with four public charter schools that serve students living in Wards 7 and 8 to effectively implement comprehensive school-based mental health initiatives. The focus of the work was to build the capacity of schools and provide technical assistance to help them create an infrastructure that supports community-connected services, family engagement, multiple tiers of support, and data-driven decision making. CHHCS developed school readiness and needs assessment tools, reviewing documents, facilitating a community of practice among school leaders, and providing individual capacity building and technical assistance.

Drive Sustainability

CHHCS brings a practical approach to sustainability, helping partners:

  • Pursue the full range of systems-level changes and funding opportunities
  • Develop, strengthen, evaluate, and sustain systems and programs
  • Gain knowledge of available community and state assets, and develop cross-sector relationships to leverage resources
  • Build capacity within institutions for cost-effective management and improved prospects for sustainability
The Colorado Health Foundation

The Colorado Health Foundation (TCHF) launched a $12 million program to increase the number of Colorado’s school-based health centers (SBHCs) and provide technical support for applicants and grantees. The program goals were to support planning and implementation of more than 20 new school-based health centers and expand mental and physical health services in existing ones. TCHF contracted with CHHCS to provide technical assistance in launching this landmark initiative.

During a year-long period, CHHCS collaborated with the foundation to assemble and staff a state-wide advisory committee that met quarterly to guide creation of the new initiative.

Results: With input from TCHF and the advisory committee, CHHCS developed tools and products to advance program goals. These included:

  • A comprehensive self-assessment tool for prospective grantees to determine their readiness to launch a new SBHC,
  • A SBHC business-planning road map to help grantees secure financial viability, and
  • A SBHC financing options white paper that laid out current and prospective financing strategies and opportunities in Colorado

Support Vulnerable Populations

To enhance the health and well-being of vulnerable students, CHHCS helps partners:

  • Link school and primary care providers, hospitals, government social services, and other community supports
  • Align school-connected efforts to best support vulnerable students
  • Ensure a link between vulnerable student-focused programs and policies and a broader agenda to improve health and success for all students and families
  • Adapt best practices to ensure they are culturally responsive
  • Develop the programmatic and organizational capacity of providers, schools, and institutions
Caring Across Communities

CHHCS served as the National Program Office for Caring Across Communities (CAC), a national initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to implement school-connected mental health programs for immigrant and refugee children in 15 communities across the United States.

Grantee organizations were funded to provide culturally and linguistically accessible services to children and their families through a partnership among school districts, community mental health centers, multi-cultural service organizations, and other partners at the local and state levels. Programs were conducted in more than 20 languages across 36 schools, and included school-wide mental health promotion projects, group counseling, individual counseling, and home visitation services.

Through a variety of methods, CHHCS staff offered technical assistance and consultation on issues that included program implementation and mental health service delivery, cultural adaptation, program evaluation, partnership development, system integration, communications and marketing, legal and political issues, mental health interpretation, parent engagement, and sustainability.

Results: Over three years, CAC programs supported more than 9,000 students ages 3-18, engaged more than 4,600 parents/caregivers, and partnered with more than 4,500 other adults—teachers, counselors, other school health professionals—interested in working with immigrant and refugee youth.