Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health

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Learn about the education content specialist’s role in assisting system of care communities, background and experience, contact information, frequently asked questions and requested information, and other technical assistance available from the TA Partnership.

About the Education Content Specialists

Sandra Williamson

Photo: Sandra KeenanSandra Williamson served as a Education Content Specialist for the Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health. She supported system of care grantee communities funded by the Center for Mental Health Services by sharing strategies and resources for addressing the mental health needs of children, youth, and families as a collaborative part of the education system and for effectively partnering with the schools. In this role, she facilitated peer-to-peer networking, coordinates conference presentations and Webinars, and provided technical assistance and training.

Sandy has over 30 years of experience in special education and school-based support programs for children and youth with emotional and behavioral needs. She has served as the education Content Specialist for the last 8 years for the TA Partnership. In addition, she serves on the leadership team for the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, which support Safe Schools Healthy Students and Project LAUNCH Early Childhood Mental Health Grantees.

Prior to her current position, she served as a special education administrator for 10 years in southern Rhode Island. It was in that role that she participated in the county-based system of care project and supervised the school-based collaborative programs that partnered with mental health. In addition, she served for over 20 years as a leader in regional and national activities for the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders. She has written or co-authored many chapters, articles, guides, and monographs on education and systems of care.

Debra Grabill

Photo: Debra GrabillDebra Grabill, M.Ed., CAGS, joined the Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health in May 2011 and served as an Education Content Specialist. She provided support to grantee communities funded by the Center for Mental Health Services by sharing strategies and resources for addressing the mental health needs of children, youth, and families as a collaborative part of the education system and for effectively partnering with schools. In this role she facilitatedpeer-to-peer networking, coordinates conference presentations and webinars, and provided technical assistance and training.

Prior to joining the TA Partnership, Debra served as the New Hampshire State Director of Special Education when New Hapmshire was first implementing the Community Alliance Reform Effort (CARE NH, 1999-2005) cooperative agreement and provided leadership to align efforts between special education, general education, and children’s mental health initiatives. She has provided consulting and technical assistance services to local and State-level agencies and organizations and specializes in the development of cross-stakeholder communities of practice. Debra represents the Technical Assistance Partnership in the National Community of Practice on School Behavioral Health, where she serves as a co-facilitator of the "Education: An Essential Component of Care" practice group. She is also working with the Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center and the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs.

Common Questions for the Education Content Specialists

  • Partnering with education: understanding the culture, goals, and priorities
  • Funding resources for partnering with schools
  • Developing a continuum of school-based mental health services
  • Coordinating referrals from education
  • Integrating system of care supports in existing three-tiered models of intervention
  • Engaging families in decision making
  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Information