By Mattie Hjelseth
DULUTH — The Duluth Police Department and St. Louis Public Health and Human Services have collaborated to reduce calls for service to adult foster care homes by creating a state-recognized innovative program. This program is called ‘Person Centered Incident Matrix,’ which is a person centered approach to crisis management.
From 2017 to 2020, calls for service to adult foster homes within St. Louis County have declined 25%. This excludes medical calls for service like difficulty breathing, seizure, stroke, etc.
“This program is a community partnership to implement person centered responses to adults experiencing crisis and who are in need of support and services,” said Officer Nicholas Lepak. “Person centered responses involve understanding individuals’ wants and needs and connecting them to their community.”
A matrix was created that describes a more in-depth guide to help front-line staff at these facilities use techniques and tools to de-escalate individuals experiencing a crisis. This matrix also provides staff with specific resources to reduce calls to 911 when other resources may be appropriate. It also helps front-line staff coordinate support services to meet individual’s needs and improve communication amongst law enforcement, social services, and within foster care organizations.
The matrix reminds direct line staff and anyone else using this tool that ‘all emergencies are crises, but not all crises are emergencies.’
“PCIM is an approach that the Duluth Police Department, St. Louis County, and the surrounding adult foster care facilities are continuing to improve on,” said Sergeant Jared Blomdahl. “Our goal is to not only lower those calls for service but to also better serve the community.”