The Social Services Division of the Lake in the Hills Police Department is utilized to provide specialized assistance to citizens in the community, beyond the normal scope of police work. The Social Services Division is operated by the Social Services Coordinator.
The Social Services Coordinator receives referrals from police personnel who feel someone may be at risk for future police intervention and in need of counseling services. Self-referrals are also accepted. They are assessed for potential at risk possibility of police involvement. Juveniles with frequent police contact are routed to the Social Services Division typically by the Investigations Division of the Lake in the Hills Police Department.
Sue Blechschmidt is the Police Department’s Social Services Coordinator. Sue attended the University of Illinois for her undergraduate work and has received a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Forest Institute of Professional Psychology. Sue is a licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.
The nature of services offered to referred individual’s ranges from telephone consultation to individual assessments. Assessments involve the referred individual and possibly his/her family or friends. Assessments can be completed in one session or over the course of several sessions depending on the severity of the situation. The assessment involves a careful review of the subject’s psycho-social difficulties and presenting problem(s). Based upon this assessment, recommendations involve referrals to resources in the community which can best address the individual’s difficulties. Typical of these community referral possibilities are alcohol/drug treatment, psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric evaluations, domestic violence shelters for women, agencies which assist with financial difficulties, or both private and community mental health agencies.
Cost of Service
The social services provided by the Lake in the Hills Police Department are free to all Lake in the Hills residents. Crisis cases may involve non-resident individuals and have one contact with the department. They are not charged for crisis services and are usually referred to service providers within the jurisdiction of their own community.
Given the nature of law enforcement work, the police have contact with individuals and families who may experience a major personal crisis, such as a severe mental health disorder or the loss of a loved one. The Social Services Division is available to assist the police either in person or by telephone with the goal of effecting a disposition. For example, the counselor can evaluate a subject for an involuntary psychiatric hospitalization.
Networking with Community Resources
The Social Services Division will seek to find, develop, and maintain relationships with local community social service providers who can be responsive to the needs of the community.
Types of Referrals
Family conflicts, domestic violence, parent-child stress, child abuse/neglect, depression, substance abuse/chemical dependency, mental/physical illness, runaway youth, and sexual/criminal victimization.