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Care Team End-of-Year Report 2017-18

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Purpose

The safety and success of students at Hawaiʻi CC is of critical importance to all of us. To this end, Hawaiʻi CC has developed a team whose central mission is to provide early identification of at-risk behaviors that impact one's ability to be successful and safe on campus. The team receives concerns from the larger community and then works with the individual to ensure they are connected with the appropriate resources. The team works collaboratively and proactively to provide early intervention and assistance to any member of the Kauhale who needs help, including students, faculty, and staff.

The Care Team at Hawaiʻi Community College was established for the first time in 2017-18. After attending NaBITA training in the summer of 2017, the initial six-member behavioral intervention team was initiated and first referred to itself as “the BIT.” The members of the team were the Interim Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services, the Dean for Liberal Arts and Public Services (serving as the Chair), the Mental Health Therapist, and two academic Counselors, one from the Pālamanui campus in West Hawaiʻi, and the Coordinator/Counselor for Disability Services (one male, five females).

Activities

While the team immediately took cases, the first semester was devoted primarily to establishing the purpose and scope of the group, writing the mission and vision statements, determining the policies and procedures, and creating a webpage, an email address, and a referral form. The group decided that the Care Team was a more fitting name than the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT). In January 2018, at the beginning of the spring semester, the team was announced at convocation. In addition, an email announcing the team and how to make referrals was sent to students, faculty, staff, and community members. The team accepts and encourages referrals from anyone connected to Hawaiʻi CC directly or indirectly, including students, faculty, staff, friends, family, and community members.

During the 2017-18 school year the team dealt with 20 cases comprising a variety of types of issues impacting our students lives on or off campus, including alcohol/drug policy violations, Title IX/sexual assault, suicide/depression, anxiety/ASD/psychosis, minor conduct issues, major conduct/law enforcement issues, and academic, financial, social stress and needs. In five cases (25%) the students were homeless and had mental health issues. 12 cases involved women, and eight involved men. 19 cases involved students, and one case involved a faculty member.

Two cases were categorized as “threat to self” and six as “threat to others.” Reports were made to the Care Team in person (8), online using the referral form (5), via email (5), and over the phone (2). Five students withdrew, seven were seen by a counselor (academic and/or disability counselor), a threat assessment was completed for 10, the threat was reduced for eight, 10 cases were closed, and one mandated psychological evaluation was conducted. The mental health therapist may also have seen some of these students, but these confidential records are not shared with anyone, including Care Team.

In 2017-18, the vast majority of cases were reported at the Manono campus in Hilo. Only one of 20 cases was reported at the Pālamanui campus in West Hawaiʻi. Below are the number of new cases by month. It should be noted that cases often continued for months, with some persisting into the following academic year. The average length of a case was 5.4 weeks.

Number of New Cases Per Month for 2017-18

  • September - 1
  • October - 3
  • November - 1
  • December - 4
  • January - 0
  • February - 1
  • March - 9
  • April - 1
  • May - 0
  • June - 0
  • July - 0
  • August - 0

Changes

At the end of the year, the team attended a training and then held a debriefing session to evaluate the management of one particularly complicated and ongoing case. From this came the establishment of a new formalized group structure, new membership, and the adoption of more effective procedures.

The membership of the group was formalized to recognize two “owners” to whom the group would report: the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services. Since the latter had been serving as a member of the team, he stepped into a background role, and the Safety and Security Chief was formally added to the team. In addition to the primary team members, secondary members would be invited but not required to attend meetings: HawCC’s Public Information Officer and the Environmental Health and Safety Officer. All members sign confidentiality agreements.

One of the greatest difficulties the team had faced was managing case files and keeping good records. By the end of the first year it became clear that purchasing case management software would be a top priority for 2018-19. In the meantime, the team put in place a paper case file system and enlisted the help of two secretaries for note taking at meetings. The team also designed an intake form for better data collection.

Training

On July 20, 2018, the members of the Care Team along with members of administration, attended a training led by Beverly Baligad, J. D. and Steven Taketa, Psy. D. of UH West Oʻahu. They covered basic behavioral intervention team recommendations, mental health, campus safety, and risk assessment.

Total Number of Reports Received: 20

Types of Cases:

  • Threat to Self: 2
  • Threat to Others: 6
  • General Concern: 12

 

How Referrals Were Made:

  • Online: 5
  • Anonymous Online: 0
  • In-Person: 8
  • Email: 5
  • Phone: 2

 

Case Demographics:

  • Threat to Self: 2
  • Male:
  • Female: 2
  • Faculty/Staff :
  • Other:
  • Student: 2

 

  • Threat to Others: 6
  • Male: 4
  • Female: 2
  • Faculty/Staff:
  • Other:
  • Student: 6

 

  • General Concern: 12
  • Male: 3
  • Female: 9
  • Faculty/Staff: 1
  • Other:
  • Student: 11

 

Outcomes:

  • Student Withdrew: 5
  • Seen by Counselor: 7
  • Threat Assessment: 10
  • Continue to Monitor: 8
  • Threat Reduced: 10
  • Case Closed: 12

 

Addendum October 1, 2018

The start of the new academic year 2018-19 saw an immediate increase in the number of new cases referred to Care Team. By this date, six weeks into the first semester, the Care Team has received 15 new cases, while we had 20 cases all year last year. Since Care Team did not actively advertise its services until January 2018, it’s likely that the Kauhale is simply only now becoming aware of and actively referring students to us.

 SepOctNovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAug
17/18131401910000
18/1915           

Also, the number of cases in West Hawaiʻi at our Pālamanui campus has increased this year. In 2017-18, there was only one case. This year, eight out of 15 cases - the majority - are in Pālamanui.

These trends point to an increasing need on our campuses for Care Team assistance in general and mental health support in particular. Currently, our campus is understaffed in terms of need for mental health support services. One full-time mental health therapist serves both sides of the island, on the Manono and Pālamanui campuses. While part-time, temporary mental health support people have served in Pālamanui, two students have complained that they are unwilling to share details of their mental health concerns with temporary employees. Our full-time mental health therapist is only able to serve in Pālamanui two days per month.

If these trends continue throughout 2018-19, additional support may be needed to manage the logistical aspects of Care Team, such as meetings, case files, and team communications. We are hopeful that Maxient case management software will ease the burden of keeping track of complicated cases and make providing services to students more efficient and effective.

Members

This year, our Pālamanui representative was replaced due to a change in the person’s position and work responsibilities, which caused a conflict of interest. As the new Director of Pālamanui, this person may need to serve as a decision maker for student conduct issues. This changed the demographic makeup of the team; Care Team now has as its primary members two males and four females.