The Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative is funded by the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice. It is based on evidence that an integrated, comprehensive, community-wide approach is the most effective way to address the problems of school violence and drug use and to promote healthy childhood development. The Georgetown grant is one of only two grants funded in Texas through this federal initiative.
Georgetown is located about 35 miles north of Austin, Texas. With a population of 25,000, it is located in one of the five fastest growing counties in the nation. Georgetown Independent School District has a current student enrollment of 7,300 and a preschool population estimated at 2,000. There are no publicly funded mental health services in the community, and there are limited resources for early childhood interventions. Few programs specifically target parents of infants and preschool children.
As part of the Georgetown Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative, the Georgetown Project, in collaboration with the Georgetown Independent School District and 10 community agencies, developed a comprehensive plan to incorporate six essential elements for safe schools and healthy students: (a) a safe school environment; (b) alcohol, drug, and violence prevention and early intervention programs; (c) school and community mental health prevention and treatment; (d) early childhood social and emotional development; (e) school reform; and (f) safe school policies. The cornerstone of this community-based project is the Family Resource Center and the creation of a network of comprehensive prevention and treatment services.
A comprehensive evaluation of this project will be conducted by the Center for Social Work Research. The evaluation will include analyses of existing student data, school surveys, specific program components, and focus groups of students, parents, and teachers. This project will also include a process evaluation to assess implementation of the project.