The Penn State Harrisburg’s CARE (Communicate, Advocate, Refer, and Educate) Team provides members of the campus community an opportunity to share a concern about a student’s academic progress, wellness, or safety. The CARE Team is a multidisciplinary team of experts who make a good-faith review of information provided for a student who requires support across multiple units. The CARE Team seeks to be proactive in assisting students of concern and provide early intervention with students who appear in distress.
How does the CARE Team work?
The CARE Team is NOT an emergency response system. These submissions will be reviewed during normal business hours Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.
If you need immediate assistance and/or the behaviors are reflecting imminent risk of harm- contact Penn State Crisis Line at 877-229-6400 or call the Police at 911.
The Office of Student Care and Advocacy will review every referral received and make initial contact with the student. Through discussion with a case manager, the expertise of the CARE Team may be needed to review the student’s situation and help to determine an appropriate action plan. The work of Student Care and Advocacy and the CARE Team looks similar and is differentiated by if a student is able to be supported by one office (Student Care and Advocacy) or requires a network of care (CARE Team).
If you have a concern about a student, please submit your concern on a CARE Report Form
The CARE Team is not meant to replace individual interventions by faculty and staff and should only be used if other direct methods have been tried and failed.
Goals of the CARE Team
Identification of students who are at risk in one of the following areas.
- Students not responding to faculty attempts related to class attendance, course performance, etc.
- Personal health or wellness; students who continue to exhibit symptoms of impaired health, even after appropriate referral to a health provider
- Students exhibiting behaviors or expressing comments which have potential to impact the safety of self or others
- Students exhibiting strange or bizarre behavioral patterns that have the potential for disruption to others and impaired performance; or extreme changes in behavioral patterns i.e. hyperactivity or very rapid speech, depressed or lethargic mood, deterioration in hygiene, withdrawn or disengaged, etc. (For mental health emergencies related to imminent danger to self or others please call 911.)
What about confidentiality?
Details reviewed in the CARE Report will be kept confidential by all members. Information may be shared on a strictly “need to know” basis to refer the student to the correct campus resources or intervene as appropriate. FERPA allows for communication to be shared among “school officials” who have a legitimate educational interest. Under FERPA, there is a clear exception for any risks to health or safety. There is also an option to submit a report anonymously.
Refer (We Need You!)
Faculty and staff have a direct link to students and can contribute to their well-being. Declining academic performance and worrisome behaviors are often indicators that a student may be facing struggles in other areas. Faculty and staff may become aware when a student may be facing struggles in other areas. Faculty and staff are often the first to recognize when a student is distressed, distressing, or just needs additional support.
To share a concern about a student experiencing academic, health, safety, financial, or other distress, please complete a CARE Report. Faculty and staff should use this form to alert the team to a specific concern or matter that may need to be addressed by multiple offices/ departments working together. The CARE Team will review the information submitted and determine the best course of action to assist the student.
CARE Team Membership
The following offices have representation on the CARE Team:
- Academic Advising
- Counseling and Psychological Services
- International Student Organization
- Multicultural Recruitment and Community Affairs
- Residence Life
- Student Aid
- Student Care and Advocacy, Chair
As needed, additional staff members will assist the CARE Team to meet unique student challenges and needs.