Social Service Providers

Social service providers play an important role in helping respondents and their families navigate the system. Social workers, advocates, and individuals working at community response organizations connect families to resources such as domestic violence or mental health programs and services and, in some states, even file for an ERPO.

Social service providers are often trusted individuals (or organizations) who can provide comfort and support to respondents and their families while navigating the ERPO process. Some social service providers include those in the domestic violence and suicide prevention spaces. These individuals may work with petitioners and respondents to help identify the most appropriate intervention.

Social service providers may offer:

  • Transportation to and from courts;
  • Education on ERPO requirements and the petition process (similar to the type of education provided on domestic violence and other civil protection orders);
  • Connect individuals to safe and secure gun storage resources;
  • Assist with safety planning;
  • Connect individuals to other resources to support the ongoing safety and well-being of the respondent, their family, and the community at-large.

Social service providers should work closely with problem solving courts to understand the petition process in their local jurisdictions, become familiar with behavioral health outpatient services and domestic violence service providers for resource linkages, and work closely with law enforcement.