WACO

sed today where I work
which has similarities to the Waco incident.

I was giving an in-service to about 15 Youth Workers on the VCRTC
policy and procedure concerning Psychiatric Emergencies. Someone
asked the question: What should we do if a resident, who is in
crisis, is on the roof? The liability issue was foremost in this
person's mind. Resident's will often threaten
e did. During the Winter time, the
roof becomes slippery from ice, or snow. There is a second story
roof, and a third story roof on the residential units. There is a
very high roof on the gym and administration building. Youth
Workers have been criticized in the past for doing too much or
doing too little.

My personal answers was: I said that I would not go on the roof
after the resident. This was based on my fear of heights and lack
of roof mobility skills. I would talk to the resident, find out
what they wanted and use this as a basis for calming the resident
down. I also sugg
sident actually jumped.

The Director of Resident Living stood up and said it was an
individual judgement call. Some staff would feel very comfortable
and at ease
hat would be OK with him.

The Superintendent gave his strongly felt position: I think that
doing something is better than doing nothing. He advocated going
on the roof and brin
ht of staff standing around and "doing nothing". He
would not accept staff putting their own safety above that of the
resident.

After some discussion of this, the Superintendent modified his
position:
ing on the roof. Some will feel comfortable talking to the
resident. Some will call for help.

During a post-training session discussion among the three of us,
I pointed out the difference between an action oriented "do
something" approach and a "result/outcome" approach (which I
think is the PCT one). The Superintendent agreed that the
principle was: keep
something is better than doing nothing", he really meant
this.

I don't believe the outcome in Waco is what the FBI wanted. I
don't believe that it would have been the first choice among the
cult members. The FBI talked for 51 days but also applied
aversive stimulation to the cult members. The leader of the cult
group reportedly made and broke agreements. Both groups were
using force to get what they wanted. The cult group could have
surrendered. The FBI could have withdrawn fro
ces which would have preserved lives
on both sides. Apparently, the most important principle was not:
no one should die over this.

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To: Rick, Dan, Eileen, others in CSG-L
From: David Goldstein
Subject: A kid on the roof is like a cuuation was discus