Case Studies

Massachusetts General Hospital Chelsea HealthCare Center - Police Action Counseling Team

Chelsea, MA

What is it?
Established in 1998, the Police Action Counseling Team (PACT) program arranges for Massachusetts General Hospital clinical social workers to ride along with Chelsea police officers responding to 911 calls where children are present. In an effort to reduce the effects of trauma, social workers provide immediate, on-scene intervention to children who are victims of violence or have witnessed violence. PACT social workers also work with parents to educate them about the consequences of violence and help them access ongoing medical and mental health care. The social workers are available to Chelsea police 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The program is funded by the Massachusetts General Hospital Community Benefit Program.

Who is it for?
Children and their families who have been exposed to violent behavior or traumatic events.

Why do they do it?
Early attention is given to children who experience or witness family and community violence in an effort to reduce the effects of trauma on these children. Ultimately, PACT’s goal is to interrupt the devastating cycle of family and community violence.

Since the program’s inception in 1998, PACT clinicians have served 1,867 children. In FY 2012, clinicians and police officers collaborated on 137 cases involving children exposed to violence. PACT clinicians have participated in police training on topics including police suicide, death notification, and culturally informed interventions with immigrant populations. PACT also participates in the newest police initiative, CASA Divert, a program engaging all community agencies to target domestic violence offenders in the service of the safety of children and families. PACT police and clinical staff presented a half-day conference at Anna Maria College, Paxton, MA, in 2011 to an audience of social work and law enforcement students and local professionals.

Contact: Georgia Green, LICSW
Telephone: 617-889-8543

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