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Bentley Care Referral FAQs

What is a Care referral?

A Care referral is an online form a member of the Bentley University community submits when they have a non-urgent concern about a student. The Care Team will review the referral and determine the most appropriate follow up to support the student.

What is the Care Team?

The Care Team is a small group of staff members from Student Affairs and Academic Services who meet weekly to discuss students of concern. The Care Team also communicates with each other throughout the week as needed for immediate feedback and to coordinate support for students of concern. The individuals on the Care Team do not work in isolation in supporting the students referred by our community to Care. In keeping with the Bentley Core Values, staff outside of the Care Team also support our students.

Who can submit a Care referral?

Any individual connected with the Bentley University community is welcome to submit a Care referral. Faculty, staff, students, families, or anyone who knows a Bentley student can submit a Care referral.

Can Care be utilized for graduate as well as undergraduate students?

Yes. Care referrals can be submitted for any student (graduate or undergraduate) at Bentley. The Care Team is here to support all students.

How do I know if a concern is worthy of a Care referral?

When in doubt, please share your concern with the Care Team. Your referral could be critical to the Care Team in determining whether an expressed concern is an isolated event or a sign that a student is experiencing more significant challenges.

When should I make a report to the Care Team and when should I contact University Police?

If the problem is urgent and you are worried about a student's safety, call University Police at 781.891.3131 (available 24/7) when on campus or 911 if off campus.

If you are concerned about a student and it is NOT an emergency situation, fill out a Care referral form.

How do I refer a student to the Care Team?

Fill out a Care referral online.

Is the Care referral anonymous/confidential?

The person submitting a Care referral is required to share their name and contact information to ensure that the Care Team can follow up on a concern to the best of their ability. Sometimes, it may be necessary for the Care Team to contact the referrer to obtain supplemental information. If you are a Bentley student sharing a concern about a fellow student, the Care Team also wants to make sure that you have the support and resources you may need.

Will the referrer's identity remain confidential?

Although there may be situations where the student can deduce who reported the concerns, as a general rule, the Care Team does not share the identity of the referrer with the student of concern.

What if a student confides in me or asks me not to tell? Will I be betraying their trust by reporting?

If you have concerns about a student's behavior and would like to see the student receive early intervention, please share your concerns with the Care Team. Please do not promise confidentiality as you may very likely have to break this promise if a student's well-being is at stake. An acceptable response to this request is, "I cannot promise total confidentiality, but I do promise that I will only share this information with those who need to know and who can help."

Should employees report their concerns to a supervisor, chair or dean, rather than the Care Team?

Employees are encouraged to follow the guidelines set forth by their supervisor when it comes to communicating students of concern. Please share this communication with the Care Team as well, when appropriate, so the team can coordinate early intervention for this student and in conjunction with the actions the reporter, supervisor, department chair and/or dean plan to take.

Although it is your personal decision whether you will share concerns with the Care Team, please strongly consider whether keeping this information isolated within your department benefits the student.

After a Care referral is submitted, how quickly will the Care Team take action?

Care reports are reviewed during University business hours (Monday- Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). If you submit a Care referral for a student, you will typically receive confirmation from a Care Team member within 1 business day that your referral has been received and reviewed. If there is an emergency, contact University Police at 781-891-3131. The University Police department is staffed 24 hours a day.

How will I know if my referral has been received and acted upon?

Once a referral is submitted and reviewed, a member of the Care Team will contact the referrer to acknowledge that the report was received. However, the referrer will not know the exact actions that we may take as we seek to protect the privacy of our students.

Any number of responses/actions may be appropriate following receipt of a Care referral. In some instances, we will take no immediate action and, in other instances, immediate contact with the student will be necessary. Our team follows an objective protocol when determining follow-up actions. The nature of the report, the behaviors the student exhibits and the number of referrals we receive for the student all play a role in guiding the Care Team in actions that we may take.

Types of Concerns to Refer to the Care Team
What kinds of physical behaviors or concerns should be referred to the Care Team?

Physical signs

  • Falling asleep in class or other inopportune times
  • A dramatic change in energy level (either direction)
  • Worrisome changes in hygiene or personal appearance
  • Significant changes in weight Frequent state of alcohol intoxication (i.e., bleary-eyed, hung-over, smelling of alcohol)
  • Noticeable cuts, bruises or burns on student
What kinds of emotional behaviors or concerns should be referred to the Care Team?

Emotional signs

  • Inappropriate emotional outbursts (unprovoked anger or hostility, sobbing)
  • Exaggerated personality traits; more withdrawn or more animated than usual
  • Expressions of hopelessness, fear or worthlessness; themes of suicide, death and dying in papers/projects
  • Direct statements indicating distress, family problems, or other difficulties
  • Peer concern about a fellow student (in class, lab, residence hall, club)
What kinds of academic behaviors or concerns should be referred to the Care Team?


Academic signs

  • Deterioration in quality/quantity of work
  • A negative change in classroom or research performance (e.g., drop in grades)
  • Missed assignments or exams
  • Repeated absences from class or from research lab
  • Disorganized or erratic performance
  • Decline in enthusiasm in class (e.g., no longer choosing a seat in the front of the room)

* It's possible that any one of these signs in isolation may simply mean that a student is having an "off" day. Please note, any one serious sign (e.g., a student writes a paper expressing hopelessness and/or thoughts of suicide) or a cluster of smaller signs (e.g., emotional outbursts, repeated absence, a noticeable cut on the arm) necessitates an intervention.