It is Friday night around 10 p.m. when the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is called for a “together in acute” by the police. The CIT’s role is to address acute insecurity related to violence in dependency relationships and strives to stop violence and create client support for the use of assistance. This involves a joint assessment in all cases of acute domestic violence and/or child abuse.
The police provide acute order and safety at the scene, while CIT then arrives on the scene to make arrangements from the crisis and initiate relief efforts.
A case study: accommodating children after violent incident
The CIT is called one evening because a father has been arrested for assaulting people while having his two children with him and drinking alcohol. After the father’s arrest, the children must be taken care of quickly. Police and local residents catch the children and the CIT is sent to the scene to see where the children can go.
It soon becomes apparent that no contact is possible with the children’s mother. Because the children are still young, they also do not know their grandmother’s address or phone number, where they sometimes stay. It is important that the children be taken to a familiar place because they witnessed their father’s violence. One of the children even peed his pants out of fear.
The CIT consults with the police, the Child Protection Council and Safe Home to find an appropriate solution where the children can stay together. It takes time to find a solution, but in this case it works in favor of the caregivers, because at some point the mother will have to come home anyway.
Eventually, the children are placed with their grandmother for the night, and the next morning emergency workers make arrangements with the mother for further care and assistance.
Time as a best friend
The caregivers realize that the passage of time has been their best friend in this situation because any other placement, such as in a foster home, would be an extra step the children would rather not have to take. By waiting until the mother could make contact and then working together to find the most appropriate solution, the children could eventually be taken to their familiar grandmother.