Care Referrals

Submit a Care Referral

As members of our community, you may be among the first to identify that a student needs support. When you recognize that a student is facing difficulties, showing them care and compassion is important, but equally essential is submitting a  Care Referral. The referral initiates an outreach from the Office of Student Support (OSS) which provides students the opportunity to access support beyond the classroom environment. If you are concerned about a student, it is always a good idea to submit a Care Referral.

Care Referrals can be submitted for a wide range of reason, including but not limited to:

  • Significant life stressors
  • Physical & mental health concerns
  • Behavior or academic concerns that may put them at risk for not progressing academically or professionally
  • A referral has been submitted in the past and concerns persist or worsen
  • If a student requests assistance in dealing with a personal concern that is outside of your area of expertise or your role as a faculty or staff member

Jump Links:

Can I submit a Care Referral for myself?

  • Yes, if you need support or help navigating resources you can submit a referral for yourself.

How do I know if my concern is appropriate for a Care Referral?

  • To put it simply, if you are concerned about a student or yourself, then it is a good idea to submit a care referral. Keep in mind, you may have only part of the information - the University relies on the referral process to identify and support students of concern. It is always better to over-report than under report.

What Happens Once I Submit a Care Referral?

  • Care Referrals are received by the Care Team. The information is reviewed to determine concerns, needs, and potential next steps.
  • A member of OSS will reach out to the student and offer specific resources or information relevant to the information shared in the Care Referral, and invite the student to meet or connect for additional support in accessing the resources.
  • We hope that students will engage with our office for support, but we also honor the voice, insight, and agency that students have about their own needs.
  • Members of the Office of Student Support regularly engage in consultation with the Care Team and campus colleagues to review risk and safety factors, potential relevant resources and identify additional opportunities for support and intervention.

When will my Care Referral be reviewed?

  • Referrals are reviewed regularly and our goal is to reach out to students of concern within two business days of receiving the referral.

How should I talk to a student about Care Referrals?

  • Letting the student know that you are submitting a referral helps themunderstand why they are getting an outreach from the OSS and as a result they may be more receptive.
  • If you are able to do so, be honest with the student. Let them knowthat you care about them and want to make a referral to make surethey have the opportunity to connect with resources or support.
    • For example you could say, “Thank you for sharing what’s been going on with you. I’m sorry that you’ve been dealing with that. I want to support you, so I am going to submit a Care Referral to make sure you have access to support and resources. After I submit the referral, someone from the Office of Student Support will reach out to you.”
  • If the student expresses concern, let them know they are not in trouble in any way and they have the choice to engage with the OSS. Remind them that as an employee you are obligated to take active steps to support students when they are facing concerns.

Will I get updates about my Care Referral?

Not necessarily. If you have specific questions or concerns regarding the referral you submitted, you can reach out to your program’s CARE Liaison or email the Office of Student Support, at Additionally, if there is additional information that you need to add to your student concern, please feel free to submit an additional Care Referral or email the Office of Student Support Directly.

What is the Care Team?

Led by the Office of Student Support, the Care Team is a small multidisciplinary group of professionals dedicated to supporting students of concern and attending to the safety and wellbeing of the student body. The team is tasked with collecting and reviewing Care Referrals, engaging in risk and resource assessments, and then developing supportive measures.

What does the Care Team do to support students?

The ways in which we support student is dependant on the unique needs of
each student, but in general we:

  • Communicate via phone or email and strive to schedule meetings to get to know students, their needs, and to collaborate with next steps
  • Engage in consultation and problem-solving
  • Assist with identifying & connecting with resources on and off-campus
  • Provide guidance for students around understanding and advocating for their rights & options when navigating challenges
  • Offer support and guidance in navigating academic or professional standards processes
  • May serve as neutral support outside of academic programs to addressmore sensitive concerns
  • When deemed appropriate, we work with students to identify their needs and at times advocate on behalf of students by facilitating dialogue with campus partners

Are Care Referrals confidential?

It is important to note that communication with faculty and staff is private, but not confidential (*with few exceptions). Faculty and staff are responsible for communicating concerns for students with the appropriate office (OSS). For more information regarding Care referrals as they pertain to the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), please visit Privacy & Confidentiality at Pacific.

*Confidential employees on campus include: Clinicians at the Student Counseling Center, Clinicians at the Student Health Center, the Campus Chaplin, as well as specific staff who are accessed within their role as Confidential Advocates.

Should I submit a Care Referral or just email OSS?

  • To assure that the Office of Student Support receives the most accurate information, it is best to submit the referral using the Care Referral Form. If you are considering whether a referral is necessary, then chances are, it is. Regardless, if you have questions, please feel free to contact us at

My concern is vague, should I submit a Care Referral?

  • Vague concerns are often early indicators and a great time to submit a Care Referral. You do not need to have the full picture to submit a referral, and you do not need to investigate to get more information from the student. This enables the student to access support and resources without having to disclose details of their situation to a faculty or staff member. Keep in mind, you may have only part of the information.

I am a family member or friend of a current student, what do I do if I am worried about them?

  • Express your concerns directly to them and encourage them to seek support from appropriate resources. Share your concerns with the university through a Care Referral.