North Aurora Police introduce new pilot social worker program
North Aurora, IL – The North Aurora Police Department is excited to announce a new pilot program to provide a social worker as a resource to our community to help address issues that are not always criminal in nature. This is an expansion of a longstanding partnership between our Department and the Association for Individual Development, in which A.I.D. has been providing victim services to our community for many years.
A.I.D. provides 24-hour outreach and wrap around services to victims of crime or trauma, and provides assistance to individuals that have basic physical and mental health concerns. A.I.D. Victim Services has over 14 years experience working with fire and police departments.
A.I.D. Victim Services provides an on-call social worker to police departments for situations that cannot be resolved by police intervention alone. Examples include sexual assault cases, suicides/homicides/deaths, fires, cases resulting in severe physical or mental trauma, domestic violence victims, and volatile parent/child conflicts. Last year 71 clients were served through this on-call program and referrals.
In this new pilot program in place through May 2021, A.I.D. will provide a contract social worker to work in our facility roughly eight hours per week to follow up on recent callouts and officer referrals, make home visits as needed, and provide training to officers. We are happy to introduce our social worker, Mekayla Anderson, who will typically be on duty on Tuesdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Anderson has a Bachelor of Social Work degree along with minors in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Aurora University. She is currently working on her Master of Social Work degree, also through Aurora University.
Some of the areas that Anderson can help the public with include accessing mental health services, crisis intervention, emotional support, funeral preparations, accessing local resources, legal advocacy, safety planning, and accessing victim’s compensation.
This new pilot program will complement our existing Crisis Intervention Team, which is comprised of officers who have received specialized training to assist community members with mental illness or who are in crisis. Anderson will work with officers to provide community members additional services and resources.
North Aurora residents who would like to make an appointment to see Anderson, should call the A.I.D. Crisis Line at (630) 966-9393, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or walk into or call the police station at (630) 897-8705 on Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. when she is present.
Conversations and interactions with Anderson are confidential, unless someone expresses they are going to harm themselves or someone else. Additionally, as social workers are mandated reporters, if any child/elder physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect are disclosed, Anderson would be required to report those things. Any other information brought to Anderson stays between her and the client.
To access Victim & Outreach Services, please call the A.I.D. Crisis Line of the Fox Valley at (630) 966-9393.