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Crisis Intervention by Social Workers in Fire Departments: An Innovative Role for Social Workers

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This article describes a unique use of social workers as crisis response team (CRT) members in a nontraditional host setting, municipal fire departments in Arizona. The role of modern-day firefighters has changed dramatically and now includes responding to a wide variety of crises and emergencies other than fires, such as motor vehicle accidents, family abuse, suicides, mental health incidents, accidents, and shootings. These traumatic events can lead to compassion fatigue in medically trained first responders who lack training to address the emotional needs of those involved in these crisis situations or to provide follow-up to ensure that their needs are met postemergency. Originally, CRTs were developed in these fire departments to address the needs of firefighters themselves. However, their functions have expanded to address the needs of customers served by the fire department, both at the scene and during the postintervention period. Using principles of crisis intervention and trauma theory, social workers and social work students placed in these agencies are benefiting both firefighters and community members served by the fire department.
... A number of internal and external factors may trigger suicide attempts, including psychological trauma or diagnosed mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Suicide attempts are often bolstered by risk factors, some of which are poverty, interpersonal issues, family problems, having less than a high-school level of education, being a member of a nondominant race, being female, and being a member of the LGBTQIA community (Cacciatore et al., 2011;Devrimci-Özgüven, 2003;Feldman & Freedenthal, 2006;Gönültaş, 2016a;Granello, 2015;Joe & Neidermeier, 2008;Knox & Roberts, 2008). A person experiencing trauma while faced with the mentioned life circumstances or risk factors may decide to attempt suicide due to low levels of self-worth, a low quality of life, and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness (Dean et al., 2000;Devrimci-Ozguven, 2003;Sözer, 1992). ...
... Crisis intervention aims to emotionally and behaviourally stabilise the person in crisis and prevent the continuation of factors which contributed to it (Dean et al., 2000). This process requires the interventionist to possess specialised knowledge and skill, such as an understanding of the ecological approach, victimology, suicidology and practice with multiple therapeutic interventions (Cacciatore et al., 2011). Timely and effective interventions are particularly necessary in suicide attempt cases due to the nature of the event, including the potential for death (Dean et al., 2000;Knox & Roberts, 2008). ...
... In this sense, the professional who intervenes in a suicide attempt is obliged to support and encourage the individual in expressing their feelings such as sadness, pain and anger and to sympathise with the individual's feelings (Sözer, 1992). In some studies, social workers have come to the forefront of a crisis intervention since, as social service providers, social workers are involved in a broad service network and hold important positions in suicide prevention (Cacciatore et al., 2011;Granello, 2015;Joe & Neidermeier, 2008). According to the Council on Social Work Education Federation, licensed social workers are trained to understand the entire eco-system of any person's life, from the systems and policies they are affected by, to the immediate physical environment they live in, to the family system they are part of, to their true level of social support, to the forces of discrimination they may be subject to, through to their psychology, trauma history and the way their past experiences shape their present. ...
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Purpose: The present study aims to understand whether investigation and crisis intervention processes can be coupled together in suicide attempt cases in order to mitigate secondary victimisation and whether a social worker as an interventionist can accomplish this. Design/Methods/Approach: This study relies on a literature review with the help of various databases, including PubMed, Springer Database, PsycoINFO and official national and international websites. In this study, the keywords (suicide, crisis intervention, investigation, social work, social worker) were determined for screening according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Findings: We found 38 articles, 8 of which were categorised by the research team in several groups with a level of 92% agreement. We categorised them using the mentioned keywords and four groups emerged as a result: suicide and crisis intervention, crisis intervention and social workers, suicide and investigation, investigation and social work. Overviews of papers for each group are presented. Practical Implications: Investigative interviews and crisis intervention processes may be coupled together in cases of suicide attempts. This process holds the potential to increase the rigour and effectiveness of data collection for the case, allow experts to lend their knowledge and skills in support of each other, and provide opportunities for more comprehensive problem-solving in crises. Thus, according to the literature and practice, the output of the current study appears to be implementable. Originality/Value: The conceptual framework revealed in this study may be used as a valuable source for future studies on the topic of collaboration occurring between the VARSTVOSLOVJE, Journal of Criminal Justice and Security, year 22 no. 3 pp. 329-348 330 investigation on one side and social and psychological crisis intervention services on the other. Namen prispevka: Namen pričujoče študije je razumeti, ali je mogoče v primerih poskusov samomora povezati preiskavo in proces krizne intervencije, da bi ublažili sekundarno viktimizacijo, in ali lahko to doseže socialni delavec kot izvajalec intervencije. Metode: Študija temelji na pregledu literature s pomočjo različnih baz podatkov, vključno s PubMed, Springer Database, PsycoINFO ter uradnimi nacionalnimi in mednarodnimi spletnimi stranmi. V skladu s Smernicami za prednostno poročanje za sistematični pregled in metaanalizo (PRISMA) smo za pregled določili naslednje ključne besede: samomor, krizna intervencija, preiskava, socialno delo, socialni delavec. Ugotovitve: Našli smo 38 člankov, od katerih jih je osem raziskovalna skupina s stopnjo strinjanja 92 % razvrstila v več skupin. Na podlagi omenjenih ključnih besed smo jih razvrstili v štiri skupine: samomor in krizno posredovanje, krizno posredovanje in socialni delavci, samomor in preiskave, preiskave in socialno delo. Predstavljeni so pregledi prispevkov za vsako skupino. Praktična uporabnost: Preiskovalni intervjuji in procesi kriznih intervencij so v primerih poskusov samomora lahko povezani. Tak postopek lahko poveča temeljitost in učinkovitost zbiranja podatkov za primer, omogoči strokovnjakom, da se medsebojno dopolnjujejo, ter nudi možnosti za celovitejše reševanje problemov v krizah. Glede na literaturo in prakso se zdi, da so ugotovitve sedanje študije izvedljive. Izvirnost/pomembnost prispevka: Predstavljeni konceptualni okvir je lahko uporaben kot dragocen vir za prihodnje študije na temo sodelovanja med preiskovanjem in službami za socialno ter psihološko krizno intervencijo.
... A number of internal and external factors may trigger suicide attempts, including psychological trauma or diagnosed mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Suicide attempts are often bolstered by risk factors, some of which are poverty, interpersonal issues, family problems, having less than a high-school level of education, being a member of a nondominant race, being female, and being a member of the LGBTQIA community (Cacciatore et al., 2011;Devrimci-Özgüven, 2003;Feldman & Freedenthal, 2006;Gönültaş, 2016a;Granello, 2015;Joe & Neidermeier, 2008;Knox & Roberts, 2008). A person experiencing trauma while faced with the mentioned life circumstances or risk factors may decide to attempt suicide due to low levels of self-worth, a low quality of life, and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness (Dean et al., 2000;Devrimci-Ozguven, 2003;Sözer, 1992). ...
... Crisis intervention aims to emotionally and behaviourally stabilise the person in crisis and prevent the continuation of factors which contributed to it (Dean et al., 2000). This process requires the interventionist to possess specialised knowledge and skill, such as an understanding of the ecological approach, victimology, suicidology and practice with multiple therapeutic interventions (Cacciatore et al., 2011). Timely and effective interventions are particularly necessary in suicide attempt cases due to the nature of the event, including the potential for death (Dean et al., 2000;Knox & Roberts, 2008). ...
... In this sense, the professional who intervenes in a suicide attempt is obliged to support and encourage the individual in expressing their feelings such as sadness, pain and anger and to sympathise with the individual's feelings (Sözer, 1992). In some studies, social workers have come to the forefront of a crisis intervention since, as social service providers, social workers are involved in a broad service network and hold important positions in suicide prevention (Cacciatore et al., 2011;Granello, 2015;Joe & Neidermeier, 2008). According to the Council on Social Work Education Federation, licensed social workers are trained to understand the entire eco-system of any person's life, from the systems and policies they are affected by, to the immediate physical environment they live in, to the family system they are part of, to their true level of social support, to the forces of discrimination they may be subject to, through to their psychology, trauma history and the way their past experiences shape their present. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: The present study aims to understand whether investigation and crisis intervention processes can be coupled together in suicide attempt cases in order to mitigate secondary victimisation and whether a social worker as an interventionist can accomplish this. Design/Methods/Approach: This study relies on a literature review with the help of various databases, including PubMed, Springer Database, PsycoINFO and official national and international websites. In this study, the keywords (suicide, crisis intervention, investigation, social work, social worker) were determined for screening according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Findings: We found 38 articles, 8 of which were categorised by the research team in several groups with a level of 92% agreement. We categorised them using the mentioned keywords and four groups emerged as a result: suicide and crisis intervention, crisis intervention and social workers, suicide and investigation, investigation and social work. Overviews of papers for each group are presented. Practical Implications: Investigative interviews and crisis intervention processes may be coupled together in cases of suicide attempts. This process holds the potential to increase the rigour and effectiveness of data collection for the case, allow experts to lend their knowledge and skills in support of each other, and provide opportunities for more comprehensive problem-solving in crises. Thus, according to the literature and practice, the output of the current study appears to be implementable. Originality/Value: The conceptual framework revealed in this study may be used as a valuable source for future studies on the topic of collaboration occurring between the VARSTVOSLOVJE, Journal of Criminal Justice and Security, year 22 no. 3 pp. 329-348 330 investigation on one side and social and psychological crisis intervention services on the other. Namen prispevka: Namen pričujoče študije je razumeti, ali je mogoče v primerih poskusov samomora povezati preiskavo in proces krizne intervencije, da bi ublažili sekundarno viktimizacijo, in ali lahko to doseže socialni delavec kot izvajalec intervencije. Metode: Študija temelji na pregledu literature s pomočjo različnih baz podatkov, vključno s PubMed, Springer Database, PsycoINFO ter uradnimi nacionalnimi in mednarodnimi spletnimi stranmi. V skladu s Smernicami za prednostno poročanje za sistematični pregled in metaanalizo (PRISMA) smo za pregled določili naslednje ključne besede: samomor, krizna intervencija, preiskava, socialno delo, socialni delavec. Ugotovitve: Našli smo 38 člankov, od katerih jih je osem raziskovalna skupina s stopnjo strinjanja 92 % razvrstila v več skupin. Na podlagi omenjenih ključnih besed smo jih razvrstili v štiri skupine: samomor in krizno posredovanje, krizno posredovanje in socialni delavci, samomor in preiskave, preiskave in socialno delo. Predstavljeni so pregledi prispevkov za vsako skupino. Praktična uporabnost: Preiskovalni intervjuji in procesi kriznih intervencij so v primerih poskusov samomora lahko povezani. Tak postopek lahko poveča temeljitost in učinkovitost zbiranja podatkov za primer, omogoči strokovnjakom, da se medsebojno dopolnjujejo, ter nudi možnosti za celovitejše reševanje problemov v krizah. Glede na literaturo in prakso se zdi, da so ugotovitve sedanje študije izvedljive. Izvirnost/pomembnost prispevka: Predstavljeni konceptualni okvir je lahko uporaben kot dragocen vir za prihodnje študije na temo sodelovanja med preiskovanjem in službami za socialno ter psihološko krizno intervencijo.
... traumatic, hence social workers draw on Crisis Theory and Intervention to help people who experience any crisis to go through some processes until the crisis is resolved. The tenets of this theory include providing aid quickly; ensuring adequate, immediate, and long-term social support; and facilitating expression of feelings, symptoms, and worry (Cacciatore et. al, 2011). ...
... El testimonio recogido por las personas expertas muestra que los/as profesionales que afrontan situaciones de urgencia han de enfrentarse a la toma rápida de decisiones, como también señalan autores como Brémont et al. (2002);Vidal-Naquet (2005) o Aubert (2010), en ocasiones sin información previa sobre el contexto y la persona usuaria. Por ello resulta clave abordar el desarrollo de competencias formativas específicas sobre gestión de situaciones de crisis, urgencia y emergencia en trabajo social, aspecto en el que los/as profesionales consultados han incidido especialmente y que se encuentra en la línea de las investigaciones consultadas (Cacciatore et al., 2011;Flannery 1999;Martínez y Cabrera, 2019). Sería deseable que estas acciones formativas se introdujesen en el itinerario académico. ...
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Introducción: El campo de las urgencias y las emergencias sociales es uno de los considerados destacados por la disciplina de Trabajo Social. Este trabajo tiene como objetivo esclarecer el significado y utilización otorgados desde los servicios sociales a los términos urgencia y emergencia, tanto desde el punto de vista legislativo, como desde la visión de los/as trabajadores/as sociales que intervienen en estas situaciones, recogiendo además propuestas de mejora a nivel formativo. Material y métodos: Mediante una metodología cualitativa, se ha procedido al análisis de contenido de las leyes de Servicios Sociales de Aragón, Cataluña y Comunidad de Madrid, al tratarse de CCAA donde se han realizado importantes actuaciones en este ámbito en los últimos años. Además, se han realizado un total de siete entrevistas a trabajadores/as sociales de estas CCAA, con una larga trayectoria en este ámbito. Resultados: Se aprecian diferentes matices en los conceptos de urgencia y emergencia en la legislación de las tres CCAA analizadas, con las consecuentes diferencias en las intervenciones consideradas dentro de cada término. Por su parte, el discurso de los/as profesionales muestra más coincidencias, señalando la importante labor de los trabajadores sociales en este ámbito. Discusión: Se constata la indefinición y ambigüedad de los términos urgencia y emergencia social, la necesidad de esclarecer sus definiciones, así como la falta de formación específica en estas materias en los itinerarios académicos oficiales de Trabajo Social.
... They help, aid and work for the most marginalized and vulnerable people, and this requires compassion and empathy as they interact with citizens and address their problems. They are expected to be accommodating, courteous, and pleasant even in the midst of stressful and chaotic situations (Boyas & Wind, 2010;Cacciatore et al., 2011;Omdahl & O'Donnell, 1999). ...
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In a highly political organization, how could employees' trust behavior affect their motivation to serve the public? This article examines how trust and public service motivation, as social and personal resources, respectively, can attenuate the potentially negative impact of perceived politics on employee behavior and outcomes. The findings suggest that workplace trust is a strong factor in enhancing employees' motivation and thereby mediating perceived politics-outcomes significantly. An important implication of this study findings is that despite the challenges and problems of power play in politics, workers can still draw support and motivation from their peers and the citizens they serve.
... Fruitful work here would parallel the successful pilot intervention of structurally embedding crisis intervention social workers within fire departments to respond to emotional needs of others in emergency response situations (Cacciatore, Carlson, Michaelis, Klimek, & Steffan, 2011). Interventions would also take into account the variations in the social locations of workers in organizations being studied. ...
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Compassion fatigue has been primarily studied at the micro level and framed as a psychological “personal trouble” that results from one's personality traits, demographic characteristics, or life and work stressors. In addition, compassion fatigue is used to predict other psychological outcomes such as burnout, depersonalization, and stress. This literature on compassion fatigue has been reviewed, in order to illustrate areas where sociologists can contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the phenomenon. In this article we conceptualize compassion fatigue as a sociological concept and overview the potential ways that sociological approaches can enhance our understanding. We draw on the literatures of emotion work, social exchange theory, and macrolevel sociological theories to facilitate the use of compassion fatigue from a sociological perspective. For example, we use concepts such as social integration and anomie to stimulate thinking about rates of compassion fatigue.
... Beberapa isu lainnya terkait dengan pandemi Covid-19 adalah ketakutan pada berita bertambahnya jumlah penderita yang disiarkan media sosial, serta simpang siurnya isu terkait pandemi Covid-19, terbatasnya pemenuhan kebutuhan dasar, terbatasnya alat pelindung diri dan situasi ketidakpastian. Isu tersebut juga terjadi pada saat situasi kedaruratan di mana dapat menimbulkan ketakutan, kecemasan dan stress pada keluarga (Cacciatore, J. et al, 2011;Morse. William C , 2013). ...
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Dari semua elemen komunikasi, pengelolaan risk communication yang mengandung risk messages adalah mandatori. Penting diperhatikan bahwa kepastian tentang informasi yang disampaikan kepada publik harus berdasarkan fakta, data dan ilmu pengetahuan. Organisasi Kesehatan Dunia (WHO) mencatat bahwa komunikasi yang baik dapat membantu mengelola ekspektasi dan ketakutan individu akan wabah. Komunikasi yang baik akan memungkinkan masyarakat mengikuti instruksi pada masa pandemi. Sebaliknya, komunikasi yang buruk akan merusak kepercayaan publik, meruntuhkan kredibilitas komunikator, dan berdampak fatal pada seluruh aspek kehidupan. Komunikasi yang buruk akan menimbulkan mistrust atau ketidakpercayaan.
... Other problem situations at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, were the reporting and information about COVID-19 both through social and cellular media that were troubling, limited fulfilment of basic needs, the threat of reduced family finances, limited personal protective equipment and the uncertainty situation for the end of the pandemic. The issue also occurs during an emergency situation which can cause fear, anxiety and stress (Cacciatore et al., 2011;Morse, 2013). Stress in the elderly can cause negative emotional reactions and have a direct effect on health and can increase deterioration in people's quality of life (Aracena et al., 2016). ...
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This research aimed to determine the stress level of parents facing children study from home at the early time of the enactment of COVID-19 social distance policy in Indonesia. The method was conducted using a survey through social media that was filled in by parents who had school-age children and were studying from home. The distribution and filling of questionnaires were conducted from March 31, 2020, to April 6, 2020. 236 respondents filled out the questionnaire, but after data cleaning processed only 223 respondents' data could be analyzed. The instrument used was the Perceived Stress Scale from Sheldon Cohen. The survey results indicate that the stress level of parents facing children study from home in the initial three weeks of social distance policy is 75.34 percent in the medium category, however there are 10.31 percent of respondents who have high-stress levels and 71.88 percent among them are women or mothers. High-stress levels are influenced, among others, by the inability of parents to guide learning, family health concerns, and family economic problems. This condition is likely to continue with the extension of the study from home period. For this reason, it is recommended that child social workers can provide online psychosocial services for parents who accompany children at home, such as family counseling, family therapy that parents and children can do, and increase family resiliency during the pandemic.
... Beberapa isu lainnya terkait dengan pandemi Covid-19 adalah ketakutan pada berita bertambahnya jumlah penderita yang disiarkan media sosial, serta simpang siurnya isu terkait pandemi Covid-19, terbatasnya pemenuhan kebutuhan dasar, terbatasnya alat pelindung diri dan situasi ketidakpastian. Isu tersebut juga terjadi pada saat situasi kedaruratan di mana dapat menimbulkan ketakutan, kecemasan dan stress pada keluarga (Cacciatore, J. et al, 2011;Morse. William C , 2013). ...
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PERANAN KELUARGA MENGHADAPI PANDEMIC COVID-19 DI INDONESIA ABSTRAK Ellya Susilowati ellyasusilowati1@gmail.com Politeknik Kesejahteraan Sosial Bandung Keluarga menjadi tumpuan bagi semua anggotanya selama pandemi COVID-19 berlangsung. Semua aktivitas dilakukan di rumah, anak-anak belajar dari rumah dan mereka yang bekerja juga work from home serta dianjurkan stay at home. Beban keluarga pada masa ini menjadi bertambah, seperti :1) meningkatkan kesehatan keluarga; 2) melaksanakan fungsi pendidikan;3) meningkatkan perlindungan keluarga; 4) mengefektifkan pengasuhan; dan 5)memelihara resiliensi keluarga. Isu meningkatnya beban keluarga, ditunjukkan dari hasil survei yang direspon oleh 223 orang tentang stress orangtua mendampingi anak belajar di rumah pada awal kebijakan Social Distancing. Hasil survei ini menunjukkan tingkat stress orangtua 75,3 % ada dalam katagori sedang dan 10,3% mengalami tingkat stress tinggi. Pada tahap ini sudah ada ada kekhawatiran orangtua terkait dengan kesehatan keluarga, ekonomi keluarga, pendidikan anak. Sementara pandemi COVID-19 belum jelas kapan berakhirnya dan keluargalah yang akan menghadapi situasi dampak pandemi COVID-19. Beberapa teori menjelaskan tentang strength perspective termasuk kekuatan keluarga menghadapi krisis. Tulisan ini akan memaparkan bagaimana keluarga menghadapi pandemi COVID-19 agar anggota keluarga tetap survive menghadapi krisis ini. Kata kunci: Keluarga, COVID-19, Strength
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