What is Care Team

Care Team is a collection of WSU staff who are committed to helping ensure students' needs are met in order to promote wellness and academic success. We provide a proactive and supportive multidisciplinary team approach to prevention, assessment and intervention for situations that may interfere with members of campus functioning to their full potential.

Members of Care Team come from many different areas on campus to help ensure relevant expertise is available for a wide variety of potential concerns. To learn more about Care Team's members and their positions on campus, click here.

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The Care Team process

You may wonder what happens on our end once you submit a concern. Here is a breakdown of the basic steps:

  1. When a concern is submitted, the report is entered into a secure database, which pulls in available information from Banner such as date of birth, contact information and area of study. The team members are then notified that a concern has been submitted. The notification contains the student's name and a freshly generated database ID, but does not contain details about the concern.
  2. One of the team members in the office for the Vice President of Student Affairs assesses the report and turns it into a Care Team case. The case is then assigned to a team member as the main point of contact. This assignment may change over the lifetime of the case if it turns out someone else is better positioned to help the student. If the report is more relevant to a different team, it will be transferred to that team. Click here to see the different reporting options available.
    • If there are concerns about harm to self or others, the student may be assigned a mandatory mental health assessment, which can be completed at Counseling and Prevention Services OR by signing a release of information that allows
  3. Once the concern becomes a case, other members of the team are notified. Certain members then add information they may have about the student, such as whether the student is living in on-campus housing, is employed on campus, or has had previous concerns submitted about them.
  4. The member to whom the case has been assigned will reach out to the student, the reporter, and any other relevant parties to gather information and arrange a conversation with the student. Care Team members will abide by HIPAA and FERPA in this process.
  5. The team member will work with the student and any other relevant parties to assess the student's needs and inform the student of options, services, information, processes and resources available to them. When possible and relevant, Care Team members will be happy to connect the student with people, offices and resources to meet their needs.
  6. Care Team will close the student's case in the following situations:
    • If the student is connected with resources and has their needs met
    • If a lower-risk student expresses they do not need or want Care Team's help*
    • If the student leaves the university

Throughout this process, Care Team will meet once a week to discuss current cases. Care Team also attends monthly trainings to promote ongoing development and growing understanding of the issues that students face.

*This does not apply in situations when the student has significant risk factors of harm to self or others.

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What Care Team is not

While the Care Team can be a great resource and tool for helping students, it can't do everything. There are some services that Care Team is not equipped to offer.

  • Emergency services. Care Team is happy to reach out to students who have recently experienced a crisis or who seem at-risk of harm to self or others. However, if a student is currently in crisis and in imminent danger of harm to self or others, we advise you to call 911 or call UPD at 316-978-3450. Calling the police does not get anyone in trouble; police provide emergency services.
  • Counseling services. Counseling and Prevention Services has representation on the Care Team, and if students need counseling services we are happy to put them in touch with either CAPS or a community provider. However, the Care Team does not offer counseling services, and most of its members are not licensed counselors.
  • A "Get Out of Jail Free" card. Care Team is happy to assist students who have run into obstacles to their wellness or academic success. However, we expect students to make an effort to do their part.

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Frequently asked questions

Taking the step to submit a concern about someone can evoke mixed feelings. Below are a few common questions people have about this process.

If you need immediate assistance after normal business hours, please contact Wichita State University Police Department at 316-978-3450.

Why should I contact the Care Team?
If a community member (student, faculty or staff) behaves in a way that is disruptive or poses a threat to any aspect of the university community, such behaviors should be reported to the Care Team.
Is Care the same as Counseling?
No. While Counseling and Prevention Services has a presence on the Care Team and is one of the resources we can recommend to students, Care Team is not part of Counseling and Counseling is not part of Care Team. Care Team itself does not provide counseling services, but when appropriate it may reach out to students who might benefit from counseling to try to connect them with those services.
How do I connect with the Care Team?

You can submit a concern through the Care Team reporting page (click here). You can call the office of Student Affairs Assessment and Retention at 316-978-3149 during regular business hours and ask to schedule an appointment. You can also email care@wichita.edu or stop by room 231 in the Rhatigan Student Center.

What can I expect when I submit a concern?

If you included contact information, when you submit a concern you'll receive an email confirming receipt. Someone from Care Team may or may not reach out to you to discuss your submission, depending on the case, our ability to reach the student and whether or not we need any additional information.

The Care Team will address every report that is brought to the committee. However, you may not be privy to the outcome of an investigation based on the factors involved. We appreciate members of our campus taking the time to submit concerns they may have; however, we hope submitters understand that once a case is submitted, that information becomes confidential and we are not at liberty to disclose information about the case without a signed Release of Information from the student.

Although action will depend upon the situation, the Care Team will intervene in support of the person of concern, as well as campus safety.

What if I am wrong about the person?

You are registering a concern based on an observed behavior (e.g., verbal exchange, action, etc.), not making a determination. By alerting the appropriate campus representatives, a safety determination can be made.

How should I approach the person? Should I approach the person?

As a caring individual, you may desire to reason with or explore the source of the actions of the person in question. However, based on the threat level, this mentoring approach may not be the best course of action. Always assess the risk. Should you have any concern about your safety or the safety of others, your best course of action for the safety of all involved is to access intervention from people who are trained in these areas. Click here for more information about helping a student in distress.

I don't have a great deal of information; should I wait before notifying someone?

Sometimes we don't have all the information. Let the Care Team weigh the information and see if gathering more facts is warranted as a response plan is evaluated. It is also possible your information will contribute to other reports about the same student/s or situation.

Who has access to this information?
The Care Team is the primary responding body at the university. In the event that additional resources need to be mobilized in order to effectively respond to a situation, reported information will be handled discreetly. Care Team complies with FERPA and HIPAA.
Will this report adversely affect this person's status as a student or employee?

You are doing the right thing in reporting your concerns in support of individuals' and our campus safety. However, this action may also raise concern for the person involved. The Care Team takes into account the concerns of the campus, as well as the needs of the student, faculty or staff member about whom concerns are expressed. Whether the overall review of information will adversely affect the person's status as a student or employee will depend on the situation.

Can I submit a concern anonymously?
Yes. However, you are encouraged to identify yourself because this may assist the Care Team if clarification or additional information is needed. We do not disclose the reporter's name to students, but the student may be able to deduce the reporter's identity on their own.
Will the person be able to find out that I submitted the concern?
The Care Team will attempt to handle all matters discreetly. We cannot guarantee that the person(s) involved will not be able to find out the source of the report. However, our intention is not to divulge this information.
What do I do if I know a student who may need to be referred to the Care Team?

If you feel there is an immediate threat, call 911.

To make a referral, use the incident reporting form (click here). You will be asked for basic information about the student, how to contact you (in the event the Care Team has follow-up questions) and for a description of the incident or behaviors that prompted the referral.

You are the Care Team's best resource because you are familiar with the student. If you are comfortable doing so, we recommend telling the student that you are concerned and asking if they are okay. Click here for more information about helping a student in distress.

Who can make a Care Team referral?
Anyone who feels a student is a threat to themselves and/or others, or is exhibiting behaviors disruptive to the community, can make a Care Team referral. This includes students, parents, faculty, staff, and other community members.
What happens after I make the referral?
The team are able to take the information and make a decision about whether the student should be assessed by counseling center staff. However, reporting is the most critical step.
What happens to the student in the Care Team process?
If the team determines the student is appropriate for the Care Team process, they will be contacted and either the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs or one of the Student Services Coordinators will meet with them. They may be instructed to undergo an assessment at Counseling & Prevention Services. The type of assessment is dependent on the particular behavior of concern.
Can I submit a concern about myself?
Of course! Care Team exists to help. If you are struggling, please don't assume you need to wait until it gets to the point that someone else notices.

Do you have questions that weren't answered here? Reach out to us at care@wichita.edu.

If you need immediate assistance after normal business hours, please contact Wichita State University Police Department at 316-978-3450.

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