Thomas: Carol Stream Police Social Services offers community support

Community voice

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 1:36 p.m. CDT
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(Photo provided)
Mindi Thomas

The Social Services Unit of the Carol Stream Police Department has been a hidden treasure in the community since 1974.

We offer support service to the village and police department, reaching out to residents involved in police incidents such as domestic violence, juvenile issues, disaster and mental health concerns.

I say "hidden treasure" because we are out of the public view, literally, by being tucked away in the basement of the Village Hall at 500 N. Gary Ave. And we are a gem of a treasure, because we can be of assistance to you and your family in those more vulnerable times of need.

I would like to highlight three of our outreach programs available to Carol Stream residents; the holiday Christmas Sharing Program, our Special Needs Registry and the new Restore: Carol Stream Peacemakers group.

Christmas Sharing is a village sponsored event that allows Carol Stream residents to share with other Carol Stream residents who may be less fortunate. The program brings the whole community together to provide our residents with a holiday meal and toys for the children.

If you would like to volunteer your time or donate non-perishable food items, new toys or money, we would love for you to be a part of our Christmas Sharing team. If you are a family in need, registration begins Nov. 18 through Dec. 6, in the lower level of the Carol Stream Village Hall. Please bring proof of residency, picture identification and birth certificates for your children when coming to register for the program.

Do you have a loved one that you worry about, because of their special needs and vulnerability? When our loved ones struggle with conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism or developmental delays, we worry about their safety. The Carol Stream Police Department Social Service Unit offers one solution to assist you with your loved one who may be at greater risk of becoming confused, lost, disoriented or missing. The Social Service Unit maintains a Special Needs Registry, which provides the police with immediate access to relevant information about the at-risk resident, prior to an emergency. Please call to register your family member with the Social Service Unit at 630-871-6280.

Consistent with our efforts through our Christmas Sharing and the Special Needs Registry to support our most vulnerable residents of Carol Stream, the Social Service Unit convened a group of local citizens and service providers with the common goal of bringing restorative justice practices to all of our residents. The group has become RESTORE: Carol Stream Peacemakers and currently has members representing several area churches, social service organizations and Dupage County Court and Probation Services (Juvenile Division). 

The mission of RESTORE: Carol Stream Peacemakers is to address harm experienced by members of our community who seek a peaceful resolution through restorative circles, which are facilitated by trained group members. Restorative circles promote the shared sense of belonging to a caring community that is committed to resolving conflicts through a collaborative and effective dialogue process.

Some common reasons for participating in restorative circles include: neighbor disputes, extended family conflicts, harassment, bullying and improving group dynamics. Requests for restorative circles are currently being accepted.

Like I said, “hidden treasure.” Stop on by or give us a call, if we can be of assistance to you.

Mindi Thomas is a social worker with the Carol Stream Police Department

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