Social Worker (Synopsis)

Terrebonne Police Service

Description: In 2010, the Terrebonne Police Service hired a social worker to assist in making appropriate referrals to services and institutions. The social worker helps with recurring cases, strengthens partnerships with various social services and supports victims and families dealing with traumatic events (e.g., suicide or sexual abuse). The social worker also deals with cases involving individuals who are mentally ill and who may pose a threat to themselves or others, as discussed in Law P-38 (An Act Respecting the Protection of Persons Whose Mental State Presents a Danger to Themselves or to Others). The Terrebonne Police Service is working to make this initiative permanent.
Objective: This initiative has several objectives:
  • improve the intervention process at the social level.
  • reduce recurring cases and police workload;
  • create a single window for referring individuals to social services agencies, making the process more efficient; and
  • provide support to victims and families.
Outcomes: A preliminary evaluation has shown that the social worker has taken charge of recurring cases. The social worker now evaluates individuals whose mental state may present a danger to themselves or others, in order to validate interventions (as mandated by Law P-38). Having a social worker take on this role frees up patrol officers and allows them to focus on other tasks. The Terrebonne Police Service will complete a formal evaluation as part of a three-year review of this initiative.

In 2010, the Quebec union of municipalities (Congrès annuel de l’Union des municipalités du Québec) presented an award to the City of Terrebonne for this initiative at its annual meeting. The award was for the category, "Civic Approach: democratic life, intercultural and community relations."
Resources: This initiative costs $70,000 per annum for one full-time social worker.
Province: Quebec
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
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