Focus on Early Childhood Obesity and State Prevention Policies
On January 9, WNPR highlighted Connecticut's high rates of obesity in young, low-income children and linked to CHDI's most recent Issue Brief  which found that Connecticut lags behind other States in obesity prevention policies. 

Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI) Highlighted for Reducing Student Arrests and Addressing Behavioral Health Needs
SBDI's expansion and success in reducing student arrests and connecting students to behavioral health services was highlighted through recent events, news stories and announcements. CHDI co-developed the SBDI model and serves as the coordinating center for the State. Highlights include:
Governor Visits SBDI School in Waterbury 
Judith Meyers
joined Governor Dannel Malloy at Wallace Middle School on January 18 to highlight t he success of the  Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative  (SBDI) in reducing juvenile justice involvement among youth by addressing their behavioral health needs. C lick  here  for news and photos from this event.
Roundtable on Restorative Practices 
CHDI staff joined Governor Dannel Malloy, State Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell, U.S. Secretary of Education John King, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and others for a  roundtable discussion at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven focused on strategies to address disengaged youth, including the School-Based Diversion Initiative. 
WNPR Interview on SBDI
On January 24, Jeff Vanderploeg was interviewed on WNPR's Where We Live about how SBDI and CT are reducing school arrests and connecting students with behavioral health needs to community-based services through 2-1-1 Connecticut mobile crisis services. 
SBDI Video Released 
A new video on SBDI is designed to help schools reduce arrests and promote positive outcomes for youth. 

SBDI Schools Announced
SBDI expanded to 18 Connecticut schools in six districts, bringing the total number of schools served by SBDI to 37. The new districts are: Bridgeport Public Schools, CT Technical High School System, New Haven Public Schools, Waterbury Public Schools, West Haven Public Schools, and Windham Public Schools. 
CHDI's Expertise in School-Based Arrest Reduction Tapped by Other States
CHDI is partnering with the National Center on Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ) at Policy Research Associates on a new federal grant initiative. The National Institutes of Justice (NIJ) awarded the three-and-a-half year grant through their Comprehensive School Safety initiative. Jeff Vanderploeg and Jeana Bracey are working with NCMHJJ to develop customized school-based arrest reduction initiatives in Michigan and Louisiana, modeled after SBDI. The initiative will impact 16 or more schools in these two states.
CT's Mobile Crisis Service Featured in Peer Review Journal
Jeff Vanderploeg  was the lead author on a journal article in Children and Youth Services Review . The article describes Connecticut's Mobile Crisis Intervention Service, EMPS , including the core components of the model, the characteristics of youth and families who are served by EMPS, and provider performance measures and outcomes. CHDI oversees quality improvement for EMPS through a contract with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF). Click here for the online article.
New England Psychologist Article on Early Child Trauma Collaborative
The New England Psychologist featured CHDI's plans to address early childhood trauma in Connecticut in their December issue. The article, "Initiative brings services to young children with trauma"  describes the  Early Childhood Trauma Collaborative (ECTC), led by CHDI and funded by a five year federal grant. The ECTC will help bridge a gap for services to very young children in Connecticut suffering from exposure to trauma. 
Interviews on Ensuring Children Grow Up at a Healthy Weight
Abby Alter  discussed early childhood obesity on WICC 600 AM with Mike Bellamy on January 17. Click here to listen to the interview.  

Alter also appeared on the public access cable show Health Watch with Ledge Light Health District's Cindy Barry and Children First Groton Collaborative's Susan Corrice. C lick here for the interview.
Welcome New Staff
CHDI welcomes two new employees:
Victoria Gasca - Victoria Gasca is a data analyst for the Connecticut Collaborative on Effective Practice for Trauma (CONCEPT), a five-year federally-funded initiative to improve trauma-informed care for children in Connecticut. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. She previously worked as a Project Coordinator and Interviewer for the Collaborative Trauma Center at The Village. In her efforts for strengthening the system of care for children affected by trauma, Gasca has acquired extensive experience with Connecticut's children and child welfare system.
Ashley Nelson - Ashley Nelson is a MATCH-ADTC data analyst. She has a BA in Psychology and Child Study from the University of Saint Joseph and also obtained a computer science certificate at Gateway Community College. Nelson is an experienced evaluator with a wealth of knowledge and experience in data analysis, reporting and data management. She will support the MATCH Learning Collaborative's implementation and MATCH sustainability efforts by conducting the data collection, analysis and reporting aspects.
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