The Campus Assessment, Response, and Evaluation (CARE) Team
Otero College’s CARE Team is an active, on-campus, multidisciplinary group of staff members tasked with providing students, faculty, and their fellow staff with timely, intentional, and consistent support. The CARE Team works to recognize where individuals may be struggling, endeavoring to provide individualized attention, assistance, and care. Each week, the CARE Team gathers to discuss current concerns and to decide next steps. CARE works to incorporate a broad range of perspective into their conversations to ensure that action plans are both sensitive and effective. If you are concerned about yourself or a student, faculty, or staff member there are several ways you can contact the CARE Team. At that point, the CARE Team will take over the management of the concern. Please see How do I refer myself or a student, faculty, or staff member to be supported by CARE? below for more information on referral avenues.
The CARE Team is in place to help students, faculty, and staff members feel safe and supported while living, working, and learning at Otero College. Are you seeing behaviors and signs which worry you? Some examples of concerns CARE Team can help manage include:
- Sudden changes in academic, athletic, professional, or personal performance, engagement, or attendance
- Sudden changes in personality, interests, or friend groups
- Mental health symptomology impacting functionality and quality of life, e.g., frequent crying, very low energy, etc.
- Excessive anger or aggressive behavior/speech
- Social withdrawal or self-isolation
- Suspicions of substance use
- Anxiety, panic, or demonstrations of fear
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Changes in eating habits or disordered eating patterns
- Unusual thoughts or behaviors, e.g., “out of touch” with reality
- Thoughts of harming self or others
- A disclosed interest in seeking material or emotional support services but not knowing where to turn
If you are concerned about your well-being or that of a student, faculty, or staff member you can contact the CARE Team by using the Otero College website’s electronic CARE Team Referral Form. Listed under the Report a Concern section, this is a simple and streamlined way to notify the CARE Team so that action can be taken to support the individual about whom you are concerned. This referral form asks questions about the concern – who is involved, where did the concern occur, when did the concern arise? We ask that you include as much detail as you are able and fits your level of comfort. None of the fields on the CARE Team Referral Form are mandatory and concerns CAN be referred anonymously. That said, including contact information is very helpful for instances in which a CARE Team Member may need to reach out to you for further information or clarification. If you are submitting a CARE Team Referral Form about personal concerns you yourself are experiencing, please include your name and contact information so that the Team can support you quickly and effectively.
Submitted CARE Team Referral Forms are automatically sent to the Dean of Students and Otero College’s Case Manager. These individuals then activate the CARE Team, taking next-steps to help design a plan of support, triaging tasks to appropriate CARE Team Members, and working toward safe, sustainable resolutions. See What happens after I make a referral? below for more information on CARE Team processes or check out the CARE Team Flowchart here.
An informal referral occurs when a student, faculty, or staff member directly informs a member of the CARE Team about a concern. This can occur through email, over the phone, or in conversation. Although we encourage anyone making an informal referral to ALSO complete an electronic CARE Team Referral Form online for recordkeeping purposes, we know this is not always feasible. The CARE Team Member you have informally referred a concern to will then inform the Dean of Students and Otero College’s Case Manager of the concern. CARE Team will activate at this point. See Who comprises the CARE Team? below for more information on CARE Team Members and how to contact them. Feel free to check out the CARE Team Flowchart here.
If you informally refer a concern regarding yourself or a student, faculty, or staff member, please remember that discretion and privacy are important. Please refrain from having conversations about those you are referring in areas where others can hear or be made aware of your concerns. CARE Team endeavors to operate with the utmost integrity and the privacy of students, faculty, and staff members is taken very seriously
Warm Hand-Off Referral
This type of referral includes you bringing the person(s) you are concerned about with you to meet a CARE Team Member. Warm hand-offs can be helpful in instances in which you have discussed your concerns with the concerning parties and/or those you are concerned about feel hesitant to engage with the CARE Team on their own. The CARE Team Member with whom you have carried out the warm hand-off will then inform the Dean of Students and Otero College’s Case Manager of the concern. CARE Team will activate at this point. See Who comprises the CARE Team? below for more information on CARE Team Members and how to contact them. Feel free to check out the CARE Team Flowchart here.
Remember to not pressure anyone to visit a CARE Team Member with you. CARE is a resource and as such is meant to offer nonjudgmental, well-rounded assistance and support that is not forced.
Once you have made a referral, the first thing we want to say is: Thank you. Thank you for being willing to reach out. Thank you for being brave. Your referral, whether submitted online, in-person, or through a warm hand-off, will then be put in front of the Dean of Students and Otero College’s Case Manager. Together, these two staff members are tasked with determining appropriate next-steps. How urgent is the concern? What CARE Team Member expertise is needed to best manage the situation? Once you have made a referral, your job is done, and CARE Team takes over. Because the CARE Team takes their responsibilities very seriously and operates with an emphasis on discretion, you will not be updated on the status of your submitted concern. Again, this boundary is necessary for the maintenance of privacy and to encourage the respect of those involved.
For more details on the innerworkings of the CARE Team triage system, please see the CARE Team Flowchart here.
In an effort to improve campus safety, Otero College has another avenue by which electronic reporting can occur: The Incident Report. So, when does one submit an Incident Report and when does one submit a CARE Team Referral Form? In short, Incident Reports are used to notify administration and document events or crimes which have already taken place and can include but are not limited to murder, assault, dating or domestic violence, sexual assault or rape, larceny-theft, burglary, robbery, vandalism, substance use, hate crimes, and arson. Conversely, the CARE Team Concern Referral Form is used to notify the CARE Team and document concerns and situations in which one of the above incidents may not have yet occurred but there is reason for concern and a need for proactivity and supportive planning. When in doubt, fill in whichever form feels most pertinent to the circumstances you are reporting, and the CARE Team can help to make sure the information provided ends up in the right hands. Remember that overreporting is always preferable to underreporting. Nothing is more tragic and avoidable than a student, faculty, or staff member slipping through the cracks when help is available and at-the-ready.
Help us make Otero College a place where whether we are a student, faculty, or staff member, we all feel important, accepted, and CARE-ed for. Thank you!
Who is on the CARE Team
Dean of Students
Student Services Center
Law Enforcement Training Academy Director
McBride Hall 129
Director of Institutional Research and Initiatives
Macdonald Hall 204
Mental Health Counselor
Foundation & Director of Auxiliary Services
Student Center 105
Campus Security Office