After conducting a successful eight-month pilot program, the City will continue its partnership with the Association for Individual Development (AID) to provide a part-time, on-site social worker at the Geneva Police Department.
AID social worker Mekayla Anderson joined the Geneva Police Department this winter and is working eight hours a week following up on cases and police officer referrals, making home visits, and training officers.
Anderson has a bachelor of social work degree with a minor in criminal justice/psychology and recently earned her master of social work degree from Aurora University. In her new role, she will be able to assist the public in accessing local resources for mental health services, crisis intervention, emotional support, funeral preparations, legal advocacy, safety planning, and more.
The City’s partnership with AID works to complement the Geneva Police Department’s existing Crisis Intervention Team, which is comprised of officers who have received specialized training to assist residents with mental illness. Bringing a social worker on board is a vital addition to the department to offer important community resources to those in need.
Geneva residents who would like to make an appointment with Anderson can call the AID Crisis Line at 630-966-9393, send her an email or call the Geneva Police Department at 630-232-4736 during her Wednesday office hours.
Conversations with Anderson are kept confidential unless a person expresses they are going to harm themselves or others. Additionally, social workers are mandated reporters and would be required to disclose physical abuse or neglect to authorities.
The social worker program runs through April 2022, but the City hopes to continue this initiative going forward as part of its annual budgeting process.
The City has contracted with AID since 2014 to provide 24-hour outreach and assistance to victims of crime or trauma, people in crisis or struggling with substance abuse, and individuals dealing with mental health issues that cannot be resolved by police intervention alone. Last year, the Geneva Police Department and AID worked together to offer services to 229 people through the on-call program and referrals. AID Victim Services has more than 14 years of experience working with local police and fire departments.