Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health Funds Dr. Jennifer Green’s Study of Police Response to Mental Health Incidents at BPS

Boston University School of Social Work’s Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health (CISWH) has announced funding for two new research projects to improve the health and welfare of vulnerable youth populations. One of those two projects, led by BU Wheelock faculty member Dr. Jennifer Green, will examine the use of police services to respond to behavioral health incidents in Boston Public Schools (BPS).

Dr. Green’s project, “Examining Police Response to Mental Health Incidents in Boston Public Schools,” will use 911 call data and police incident reports, to examine patterns of behavioral health-related police responses across BPS to evaluate the nature of concerns that lead to police involvement. The results will be presented to stakeholders at BPS and the Boston Police Department, with the goal of improving behavioral health services for Boston-area students.

“We are thankful for the support of the CISWH grant and the opportunity to move forward with this research, which we hope will provide information to support school and community-based providers in improving services for youth in Boston schools,” said Greif Green.

Collaborators include Melissa S. Morabito, PhD, associate professor at University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Jenna Savage, PhD, deputy director of the Boston Police Department’s Office of Research and Development. This project expands on existing work at CISWH, in partnership with Boston Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, focused on examining the relationship between mobile crisis utilization and school mental health services.

The second funded project, “Building Evidence for a Preventive Parenting Intervention for Clients with Intellectual Disabilities,” will evaluate the efficacy of Project IMPACT, an intensive in-home training program for parents with intellectual disabilities who are at risk of child removal due to allegations of child maltreatment. Project leader Astraea Augsberger, PhD, assistant professor at Boston University School of Social Work, will work with collaborators from Montclaire State University, Children’s Advocacy Center at Westchester Institute for Human Development, and Project IMPACT.

Together, these projects aim to understand how schools are managing mental health crises and explore opportunities for addressing inequities in access and use of mental health services. “These projects exemplify CISWH’s goal to foster innovative collaborations between researchers and community partners in order to address health inequities,” said Jorge Delva, dean of Boston University School of Social Work.

To read more about Dr. Green, click here.

– Grace Hagerty