DC School Behavioral Health Community of Practice


The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS) provides leadership, technical assistance and professional development to a newly-established Community of Practice to support the expansion of comprehensive school behavioral health in Washington, DC. The Community of Practice aims to develop highly-effective and sustainable partnerships between schools, community-based organizations (CBOs), behavioral health service providers, youth and families, and other relevant stakeholders within the community to support the implementation of comprehensive school behavioral health systems.

Through the Community of Practice, CHHCS guides the planning and facilitation of learning sessions focused on building knowledge, skills and competencies of participating stakeholders. Working with their partners at the District of Columbia’s Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) and CRP, Inc., CHHCS will also provide technical assistance to schools and CBOs as well as access to resources through an easily-accessible database. The database will be made public so that school staff, teachers, clinicians, families and the DC Community can view resources related to this initiative.

These partnerships and knowledge-building opportunities will help school leaders, administrators, community-based organizations, and service providers, etc. to effectively implement best practices within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) framework that includes preventative, early intervention, and targeted supports for all students. By helping schools strengthen their tiered systems of support, CHHCS seeks to provide schools with the tools to foster positive connections to students, detect emerging problems at a faster rate, and identify which students need more tailored support so that all students are set up for success.

The work is pivotal to a city-wide initiative from the District of Columbia’s Department of Behavioral Health to expand comprehensive behavioral health systems throughout all DC public and public charter schools. These systems are designed to help increase access to behavioral health services and to support the emotional well-being of all public school students in DC.

To accomplish these efforts, CHHCS works in close partnership with DBH, DC public and public charter schools, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and CRP, Inc.