If you are both a landlord and a provider of ICS services, the juxtaposition between the strict landlord tenant laws and serving a high-risk population can be frustrating. It may seem as though you have little control over the safety of your residents, however, there are some safeguards that you can implement to ensure that your residents know and understand the expectations you have as an ICS provider and the processes you will implement if you feel as though a resident is at risk of harming themselves or someone else. 


Ways an ICS provider can promote the safety of their clients:

  • Have clear program guidelines—make sure staff reviews the guidelines with the clients during orientation and provide clients with their own copy. It is a good idea to have a signature page that goes in the client’s file where they acknowledge that the program guidelines have been reviewed with them. ICS providers can always create a Safety Policy as an addendum to the program guidelines to notify clients of the Safety Policy and include line items that the client agrees to as a recipient of ICS services. Ex. “I agree to reach out to ICS staff, my case manager, or someone in my support team if I am feeling suicidal, homicidal, unstable mental health wise, or am struggling with sobriety, and to be honest with these same people if they ask me about these issues.”
  • Inform clients that as a result of their behaviors, choices, or conduct, ICS staff may contact the client’s case manager or support team and involve them in decisions regarding your care. 
  • Notify clients that if ICS staff have reasonable suspicion to believe that a client is possessing weapon(s), alcohol, drugs, or any other prohibited items according to their lease, that staff may search their belongings in their presence, without notice. 
  • Explain to clients that their lease may be terminated if they violate it by possessing any of the above items. 
  • Explain to clients that services may be restricted or terminated if the client is at imminent risk of harming themselves or others and other positive supports were ineffective. 
  • Let clients know that immediate entry into their residential unit may be necessary to determine client safety. 
  • Require clients to stay accountable to staff and to check in on a regular basis—for some programs this may be daily or however frequent your program decides is appropriate. 
  • Require that clients answer their phone, emails, or knocks on their door from ICS staff or follow up with staff within 12 hours.
  • Perform random and/or regular UAs on clients. 
  • Pay attention to client’s medications and when they are refusing certain medications or not taking others as prescribed. For example, if a client takes suboxone because they have a history of opiate use and are in recovery, and suddenly, they stop taking their suboxone, this should be a red flag for staff. Mental health medications and addiction/recovery medications are particularly important to monitor.

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