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Tucson LINKS: Safe Schools / Healthy Students

About Safe Schools / Healthy Students

Funded by the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice, the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative is a grant program designed to develop real-world knowledge about what works best to reduce school violence. Grants of $1 million to $3 million per year are awarded to local school districts - or in the case of Tucson LINKS, a coalition of five school districts - that have formal partnerships with local mental health and law enforcement agencies.

School districts use the funds to assist their communities in the design and implementation of comprehensive educational, mental health, social service, law enforcement, and juvenile justice services for youth. These services are designed to promote healthy childhood development, foster resilience, and prevent youth violence.

The initiative subscribes to the following underlying principles. It strives to

  • Marry security with healthy childhood development.
  • Approach school violence as a public health issue.
  • Offer comprehensive, coordinated services along the path of childhood development.
  • Encourage partnerships among school districts, law enforcement agencies, and local mental health agencies.

Safe Schools/Healthy Students emphasizes the use of programs and strategies that have been proven effective through comprehensive research. Grantees are provided with the latest research and best practices in education, justice and mental health. Operating from a strength-based perspective - as opposed to one that is deficit-based - districts use this evidence to create solutions that fit their specific needs.

In addition to funding, the initiative offers a wide range of technical support. Its grantees help build teamwork among schools, behavioral health providers, justice agencies, families and other partners throughout the community. Students also work to set discernable goals and objectives, create action plans and demonstrate clear outcomes.

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