In The News

CHDI Awarded Funding to Pilot School-Based Diversion in Elementary Schools

CHDI was awarded funding to pilot an early intervention school-based diversion model in three elementary schools in 2024-2025. 

The School-Based Diversion Initiative - Early Intervention (SBDI-E) pilot project will help elementary schools divert young students from exclusionary discipline and improve their behavioral health outcomes. The SBDI-E model was developed by CHDI as an adaptation of Connecticut's School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI).

Funding to develop and pilot the SBDI-E model was awarded to CHDI from the Tow Youth Justice Institute at the University of New Haven (March 2024) through a 2023 Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (ODJJP) grant. The three-year federal grant supports the Institute's "Improving the lives of youth in Connecticut" work to address racial and ethnic disparities and increase diversion for youth in collaboration with three sub-awardees (CHDI, Center for Children's Advocacy, and ROCA, Inc.).

After the pilot is completed, we hope to expand SBDI-E to other elementary schools in Connecticut, funding permitting.

About the School-Based Diversion Initiative

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The SBDI model is a trauma-informed school-responder model developed by CHDI in 2008 in partnership with the State of Connecticut, with funding from the MacArthur Foundation.

Since 2009, SBDI has helped 73 middle and high schools across 26 Connecticut districts reduce court referrals by 26% and increase student connections to behavioral health services and supports by 55%, on average.

SBDI implementation is jointly funded and overseen by the State Department of Education (SDE), the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division (CSSD), and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). CHDI is the coordinating center for SBDI. 

Learn more about SBDI at

Contact Yecenia Casiano at for more information about SBDI and SBDI-E.


Staff Contact

Yecenia Casiano, MS - Senior Project Coordinator