Wednesday, July 16, 2008

false promises

I'm getting sick of the police telling our IPDA's things they know aren't true. It makes dealing with them a lot harder, because they blame us when their expectations aren't met.

For example: Blankets. We do no provide blankets for our shelter let alone our IPDAs. Even if we don't talk about how much extra laundry that would be and the time and expense associated with that, we can't give them blankets. We need to be able to check if they're breathing every 15 minutes. If they were covered with a blanket, that would be pretty hard. Plus, many of our IPDA's try to hurt/kill themselves. We can't give them another tool. They already have to have all strings, belts, hairties, earings etc removed.

Next example: You'll be in out in time for work. Well no, you probably won't be. Especially if you work at 6AM and you were brought in at 3PM. Policy (it might even be law) specifies you must be kept for 4 hours unless you're transfered to ambulance, police or a responsible adult, and we do that very rarely. Even then, if you're not sober after 4 hours we're not releasing you. We have the right to keep you up to 24. We wouldn't do that, but we could. If you're still drunk after 12 hours we're probably calling non emerg ambulance to assess you and transport you because there's probably something else going on. One time, a guy went balistic on me and threw the phone across the room when he found out he was 3 hours late for work. I only kept him 6 hours, and he was sober when I let him out, but WOW.

Last example (for today): Water. I hate it when the police people that we'll bring them water. Because we might, but we definitely don't have to, and it's our judgement, not the cop's that matters. If my IPDA ss freaking out, I'm not opening the door to give them water! One of my coworkers got bowled over by an IPDA when he did that, and I'm just not comfortable with that. I will give water to the regulars, or quiet, well behaved IPDA's. I will also give water closer to the end of their time. NOT in the first hour or two. I just don't feel it's safe. I also give water to people who've taken E, they're usually all lovey dovey anyway, and that stuff dehydrates you like crazy - so I read, I've never tried it. I also only give out water when there's time. If I'm really busy, too bad. People complain that it's a basic human right, and it is. But, so is safety. If we had more staff, maybe. And I ALWAYS give water on discharge.

We had a rookie cop in this week. I told him what's what. It was funny. He looked younger then me, and trust me, I look YOUNG. I told him a bunch of stuff he shouldn't do, and I definitely told him not to make false promises!


bluejeansocialwork said...

I also hate false promises--the kind that set clients up to be disappointed. I feel like the people who make the promises about how great social work services are get off scott free, too. They sell the services, we take the blame when clients are disappointed. I've had families who think that I'm mainly there to help them obtain furnishings...ugh

cb said...

We get this a lot to - mostly from doctors actually. I know its with the best of intentions but they tell people to go to social services because we'll help them with their housing problems, or sort out their benefit entitlements or provides services for any number of things that social services haven't actually done for about 30 years..
I had someone throw me out of her house once because I wasn't going to give her cash!

Still Dreaming said...

It's kind of like when someone recommends therapy but doesn't say how much hard work it's going to be. They mean really well, just don't give the whole picture.