Past projects:

Engaging and Training with Compassion Project

(Ended as of Dec. 2021)

The Engaging and Training with Compassion Project (ETC) is a university-community partnership designed to improve educational and behavioral outcomes for elementary school-age youth through compassionate understanding and provision of appropriate, high quality, family-engaged behavioral health services in the school environment. ETC has been made possible by funding from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH).

In partnership with SCDMH, the ETC is led by Dr. Cheri Shapiro, Director of the Institute for Families in Society at the University of South Carolina and Dr. Jennifer Parker, Executive Director of the Child Protection Training Center at University of South Carolina Upstate.


  • Partnering with two mental health centers (Lexington and SanteeWateree) to train 48 SCDMH school mental health counselors in Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP), a modular intervention approach to treating mental health challenges in youth

o Ensuring sustainability by training 12 of SCDMH counselors to become MAP Supervisors who can train other SCDMH staff in the intervention

o Providing additional training in family engagement to enhance outcomes

  • Partnering with two select school districts to train up to 320 administrators, faculty and staff in the SC Resilient Schools Initiative: Strengthening Student Success through Compassionate Practices

o Supporting formation of district and school-based leadership teams to advance compassionate practices and create sustainability

o Providing consultation and additional training to district and school leaders

  • Evaluating key implementation and impact factors at the level of providers, educators, schools, and mental health centers

Download a PDF for more information on the Engaging and Training with Compassion Project