A Children’s Social worker will start work on Tuesday at the Santa Monica Police Department’s headquarters to assist with walk-in community inquiries relating to child abuse and neglect, provide expertise on joint child abuse investigations, and deliver coordinated services to the community.
The SMPD and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) have been working together to co-locate a Children’s Social Worker within the department to exclusively work with children and families in Santa Monica.
DCFS and the SMDP are establishing a closer working relationship that will expedite a coordinated response, reduce further trauma to children, and assist with the placement of children when necessary.
Santa Monica Police Chief Timothy Jackman said the SMPD was excited at the opportunity of having a social worker assigned exclusively to the City of Santa Monica.
“We believe this partnership will allow us to provide an even greater level of service to the children and families of Santa Monica,” Jackman said.
Santa Monica Police Captain Wendell Shirley anticipated Williams would be working in parallel with detectives from the department’s Youth and Family Services Unit and patrol while investigating Suspected Child Abuse Reports, as well as participating in the City’s Youth Violence Prevention Action Plan initiative.
DCFS Children’s Social Worker Marc Williams said he was excited at the prospect of working with the Santa Monica Police Department
“Co-location will be beneficial in immediately addressing any child safety concerns that arise,” Williams said. “We can minimize the trauma that children are exposed to and assist the families and community with any questions they may have.”
Since 2005, the DCFS Co-Location program has been successfully implemented in 22 law enforcement sites including Whittier, Pomona, El Monte, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Long Beach, as well as LAPD and Sheriff’s Department stations
In 2008, the Co-location program received the prestigious National Association of Counties Award recognizing innovative county government programs.
The co-location program provides no additional cost to DCFS or Santa Monica Police Department.