Community partners join for training to help “High Risk” individuals
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Local service providers and law enforcement have teamed up to implement a new model aimed at coordinating efforts to support Benton County's highest risk individuals that present impending or significant danger to themselves or others.
Representatives from social services, healthcare, and public safety (police, fire, and Emergency Medical Services) came together for two days of initial training on the Situation Table approach. The training took place from October 19-20 at the Benton County Department of Human Services building in Corvallis.
"The Situation Table's goal is to offer solutions to individuals at high risk before situations escalate," stated Benton County Commissioner, Xan Augerot.
The Situation Table is a risk-based, rapid triage model that brings together various human service providers in the community for regular meetings to address situations where individuals or families are confronted with a specific threshold of Acutely Elevated Risk (AER). AER refers to situations that have a detrimental impact on an individual, family, group, or location, where there is a high likelihood of imminent and substantial harm to oneself or others.
The Situation Table aims to help those who often face the highest levels of risk in the community and who tend to fall through the cracks in the system. The model's objective is to bring together multiple agencies in a holistic manner to assist those in need at a pre-incident level. Sometimes a single agency can address one of the individual's issues but may not be able to solve the whole problem. A case brought before the Situation Table would offer a more comprehensive approach from multiple agencies to individuals in crisis.
The Situation Table, also known as the “Hub model”, originated in Prince Albert, Canada, and had an immediate impact on the city. Within the first two years of its implementation, the rate of violent crime dropped by 42 percent, as reported by Brent Kalinowski, a former Prince Albert police officer who played a pivotal role in creating the program.
The decision to implement the Situation Table in Benton County emerged as a recommendation from the County’s Home, Opportunity, Planning and Equity (HOPE) Advisory Board. The HOPE Advisory Board is the community engagement arm of Benton County’s Coordinated Homeless Response system which facilitates a comprehensive and coordinated response involving the county, cities, diverse community partners, leaders, and individuals experiencing homelessness.
Corvallis Police Department Captain Joel Goodwin introduced the concept during one of the HOPE board's monthly meetings. He was impressed by the program's success in other communities, having conducted extensive research.
"Often, a police department doesn't have all the necessary tools in one toolbox to address all the issues with at-risk individuals," noted Captain Goodwin. "Each agency has its own toolbox to address problems through their available means. By bringing everyone together and implementing the Situation Table, we can enhance our creativity in the solutions we can provide."
The Corvallis-based InterCommunity Health Network Coordinated Care Organization (IHN-CCO) is fully supportive of implementing the Situation Table model. IHN-CCO's Director of Behavioral Health, Todd Jeter, believes it will help reduce risks for the County's vulnerable members.
"We are all gathered here at the Situation Table training because we are committed to finding the best ways to serve the community," said Jeter. "Implementing this model provides an opportunity to further build trust between at-risk individuals, law enforcement, and service agencies."
Captain Goodwin is optimistic that the Situation Table approach will significantly benefit the County. "I have confidence that Benton County's pooled resources will enable us to better address the challenges faced by our at-risk community members," said Goodwin.
Benton County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring and employment practices. This document is available in alternative formats and languages upon request. Please contact Cory Grogan at 541-745-4468 or email@example.com.