Care Team Introduces Person of Concern Referral Form

By Alyssa Weston

Youngstown State University’s CARE (Concern, Assessment, Referral and Education) Team works to acknowledge concerns that may negatively impact students or the learning environment.

According to YSU’s website, the CARE Team accepts referrals from students, their families, faculty, staff and the surrounding community with the goal of providing outreach, guidance and assistance to students dealing with a variety of issues.

The CARE Team has recently introduced an online referral form in attempt to provide more resources to help students get the help they need.

Nicole Kent-Strollo, CARE Team chair, said the form focuses on identifying students that have some type of a need on campus and how to pull the right people in to help them.

The form asks for specific questions such as the students age, contact information and group affiliations.

Kent-Strollo said with the form being so specific, it will help the CARE Team route issues more effectively.

All forms filled out with boxes checked in the sexual assault and misconduct section of the form stay confidential and go straight to Title IX.

The Person of Concern Referral Form is not just for behavioral issues, but also social concerns such as a death in the family, house fire or limited money for food.

“Any of those things can come through to me and the person actually does not have to put down who they are if they don’t want to,” Kent-Strollo said.

She said although the form gives the option to give in-depth information about the person of concern, students have the option to opt out of explaining the issue on the form and simply requesting an appointment with her.

“A lot of times [the student] has to feel close enough and trust you enough to share what they need, we might not know everything that is available to them that second, but we can certainly hunt it down,” Kent-Strollo said.

Stephanie Reed, associate director of housing & residence life and CARE Team member,  said the form is just another line of communications between faculty and student residents.

“It’s just another way for us to help students and be able to provide them resources and refer them to other on campus offices,” she said. “We want to make sure our students are happy and having a great experience at YSU.”

Reed said depending on what is put on the form, RA’s and the housing coordinators may be made aware of the situation.

She said she hopes student residents are aware of the form and she encourages them to use it.

YSU Chief of Police Shawn Varso said the form is used to enhance safety on campus, especially in cases where if the person filling out the form believes someone is an immediate danger.

If a student is in an unsafe situation and they put on the form that he or she is concerned about being a threat to themselves or others, that will get routed to the YSU police station for immediate assistance.

YSUPD does not handle all forms, only the extreme cases.

“It’s a good resource because it’s one centralized way for someone to get help for a student they are concerned about, that way they can ensure their classmates are they getting the help that they need,” Varso said