Bozeman School District #7 (BSD7) in southwest Montana has a need to implement comprehensive, integrated prevention supports in order to enhance school safety. BSD7, in partnership with Gallatin County Youth Court Services, school- and community-based mental health providers, parent engagement experts, and university researchers, will implement The School and Family Engagement Trauma Informed (SAFE-TI) project.
SAFE-TI will evaluate the school safety impacts of implementing a Trauma-Informed Care approach, when applied within a tiered assessment and intervention framework. SAFE-TI will provide trauma screening, assessment, and treatment of student-specific risk factors that impact school safety, including threat-to-self and threat-to-others. To establish a trauma-informed approach, partner agencies will engage in joint learning activities and research evaluation led by the Montana Safe Schools Center and the National Native Childrens Trauma Center, both of which are housed at the University of Montana's Institute for Educational Research and Service.
In order to implement a comprehensive array of trauma-informed interventions, BSD7 will expand direct family and student services through the use of parent liaisons, student assistance specialists, student assistance paraprofessionals, and community Wraparound facilitators. At the Tier 1 level, trauma-informed approaches will be integrated with Trauma-Informed Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (TI-PBIS) and the Think Trauma Training for Juvenile Justice. Students and families in need of Tier 2 supports will be provided access to Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET) or Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Trauma in Schools (CBITS). Youth in need of Tier 3 services will receive either Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) or the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI).
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of a trauma-informed approach, all district students will be randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group. As students and families show need for intervention supports, those students identified as part of a delayed-treatment control group would have access to preexisting prevention services through a Student Support Center model. Students assigned to a treatment group would have immediate access to expanded trauma-informed services including SSET, CBITS, CF-TSI, or TF-CBT, as well as support from wraparound facilitators. The delayed treatment group will have access to these same services after an initial three-month period. Baseline and post-intervention school-wide data will be analyzed through a subset of Youth Risk Behavior Survey questions and incident reports. Data will be individually collected for risk assessment, trauma symptomatology, discipline referrals, attendance, behavior, course progress, and recidivism. ca/ncf