Daemen Social Work Creates Impact with Service Link Stop
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- December 3, 2020
- Undergraduate Students
Daemen College’s own Social Work and Sociology Department has joined many local agencies to help form the Erie County Service Link Stop, a safe and welcoming environment which connects individuals leaving detention with comprehensive services to help them not only adjust in their community, but thrive in it.
“The Service Link Stop is an important collaborative, which is changing life outcomes of individuals served by our criminal justice systems,” said Maggie Dreyer, director of field education and clinical instructor for Daemen’s social work and sociology department. “Our joint effort is giving students an opportunity to implement evidenced based interventions with this population while engaged in their field work.”
The site, at 120 West Eagle Street in Buffalo, offers connections to resources for mental health, substance abuse prevention, health screenings, education, and more. It was created by the Erie County Department of Mental Health (ECDMH), in partnership with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the Community for Greater Buffalo’s Racial Equity Roundtable.
The goal of the professionals at the SLS is to identify an individual’s needs (whether they be personal, familial, educational, vocational, health) and then work together to decide the best course of action to help foster positive change and personal empowerment in their participants.
Both Dreyer and Diane Bessel, chair of the sociology and social work department and MSW program director at Daemen College, are involved in serving on the SLS’s organizational panel as well as providing internship opportunities for Daemen students. This experience helps students gain valuable experience and knowledge they can later implement in their own practice, thus multiplying the benefit to the Buffalo community and beyond.
Since its soft opening in September, the site has already helped link 40 participants to helpful resources with multiple participants making return visits.
“This endeavor is a successful outcome of a collaboration of a wide spectrum of individuals and organizations dedicated to the premise that second chances are possible and that we are all better served when we help individuals return to their communities with supports for them to succeed,” said Erie County Commissioner of Mental Health Mark O’Brien in a press release from the Office of the Erie County Executive.
The SLS has representatives from the Erie County Department of Mental Health, Erie County Forensic Mental Health and Erie County Sheriff’s Office.
Some of the other agencies that provides services at the hub include Spectrum Human Services, Fidelis Care, Back to Basics Outreach Ministries, Center for Employment Opportunities, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Jewish Family Services, BestSelf Behavioral Health, Community Health Center Buffalo, and Pathstones.
Referrals to additional agencies are also available.
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