Hoarding >> How To Reason With Animal Hoarders

Hoarding is the acquisition of, and failure to discard a large number of possessions in a residence which appear to be useless or of limited value. Living spaces, furniture, appliances and utilities are sufficiently cluttered as to prevent their intended use, which could pose a significant risk to health, safety or How To Reason With Animal Hoarders the maintenance of housing. 

Signs and Symptoms of Hoarding Clutter blocking egress and How To Reason With Animal Hoarders ingress (windows and doors). Clutter making it difficult, impossible and/or unsafe to use the kitchen or bathroom for their intended purposes. Presence of infestations (mice, rats, roaches) as a result of clutter. Damage to the housing structure, walls, ceilings, floors. 

Accumulated items unsafely stored too close to the How To Reason With Animal Hoarders stove, oven, heater, fans, portable heaters, or furnace. Hoarding behaviors can occur concurrently with a number of psychiatric disorders, such Generalized Anxiety Disorder Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, various personality disorders or as a distinct cluster of behaviors. 

National statistics indicate that 2-5% of the population suffer from hoarding in one form or another. Based on these estimates, Montgomery County has approximately 20,000 to 50,000 potential hoarders. With How To Reason With Animal Hoarders increased public awareness, even if only 10% of these residents are identified as requiring services, it's conceivable that between 2,000 to 5,000 residents need assistance when addressing a hoarding situation. 

Clearly, this places a burden on already constrained County resources, and will require close communication, coordination and collaboration between local government and private partners. The cases How To Reason With Animal Hoarders discussed in this report exemplify the necessity for effective information sharing among relevant County and private agencies. 

Inter-agency collaboration will enable each department to respond appropriately to specific hoarders, address recidivism cases, share information and resources, and reduce the duplication of efforts. (See Appendix A "Task Force on Hoarding Behavior Cooperative Agreement Among Participating How To Reason With Animal Hoarders Agencies"). 

The County government agencies primarily responsible for responding to hoarding situations include: DHHS Adult Protective Services (APS) Department of Fire/Rescue DHHS Child Protective Services (CPS) Department of Housing and Community DHHS Special Needs Housing How To Reason With Animal Hoarders Affairs (DHCA) Department of Police/Animal Services County Attorney's Office DHHS Crisis Center.

In addition to the above How To Reason With Animal Hoarders County departments, the Task Force on Hoarding Behavior includes members from the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) and Cities of Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Takoma Park. These departments and municipalities are expected to address the consequences of excessive hoarding, which pose a risk, not solely to the individual but also to the quality of life, safety and well-being of an entire apartment building or neighborhood. 

Currently, there is minimal data available on the number of hoarding cases served, number of referrals to multiple agencies, hours spent by investigators, case managers and/or other practitioners, cost to provide the multitude of services needed to stabilize cases and/or the overall financial burden imposed on How To Reason With Animal Hoarders service providers and landlords.

Figure 1 below provides a snapshot estimate of the hoarding incidents over the past three fiscal years. (These figures include duplicate counts due to multi-agency involvement.) DHCA reports an average of 85 cases a year and APS has seen an increase in referrals. Overall, How To Reason With Animal Hoarders the counts are expected to rise exponentially as public media attention to the hoarding issue continues and our population ages. 

The How To Reason With Animal Hoarders was formed in September 2009 as a collaborative endeavor to: Share information, expertise and resources to better address the complexity of hoarding situations. Develop a concerted and coordinated multi-agency intervention strategy. The has met monthly in various group configurations to develop goals, tools and policy recommendations. 

GOALS: The near term goals established by the How To Reason With Animal Hoarders are as follows: 1.
Provide a coordinated response to hoarding cases to promote the health and safety of all affected residents, through the efforts of public and private agencies. 2. Facilitate the ability of participating agencies to share information, expertise and resources in order to better understand and respond to this debilitating and/or potentially dangerous behavior. 

3. Determine the extent of the hoarding problem in Montgomery County through How To Reason With Animal Hoarders multiagency collaboration and consistent data collection/reporting methods. 4. Establish a 4-point Hoarding Awareness/Intervention Program consisting of: a. Awareness b. Identification c. Proactive Assistance/Intervention d. Follow-up/monitoring methods 

5. Develop practical tools and identify additional How To Reason With Animal Hoarders resource gaps. 6.
Develop policies and practices to reduce and prevent the incidence of severe hoarding among our residents. work tools and documents developed by the work groups over the past year. These tools and documents augment interagency efforts to identify and intervene in cases of hoarding behavior as well as to help educate the public about the seriousness of hoarding and resources available to address this problem. 

Two of the newly developed tools, the Interagency Hoarding Response Matrix (Appendix, Attachment B) and Hoarding Screening Rating Scale (Appendix B) are now being used within County government. Product/Tool Benefits/Results Cooperative Agreement Among Participating Agencies (Appendix A) Facilitates Hoarding collaboration and Teamings and addresses concern among multi-agencies for sharing How To Reason With Animal Hoarders information.

Interagency Hoarding Response Matrix (Appendix, Attachment B) Facilitates County's hoarding proactive plan by providing points of contact for appropriate agencies to contact. Hoarding Screening Rating Scale (Appendix B) Now being used by Fire Code Enforcement, DHCA Code Enforcement and Animal Services to ensure How To Reason With Animal Hoarders accurate communication. 

Internal Resource Contact List (Appendix C) Provides list of valuable hoarding subject matter contacts How To Reason With Animal Hoarders and phone numbers to call for different types of hoarding situations. Hoarding Response Flow Chart & Decision Tree A/B (Appendix D) The Flow Chart gives an overview of the referral process and provides County personnel a quick reference to identify the appropriate lead agency for different hoarding issues. 

The decision tree provides a more detailed explanation of the process.
"Collect? Clutter? Hoarding? Which one is it?" Hoarding Brochure How To Reason With Animal Hoarders (Appendix E) Provides general information to the public on what to look for and who to call for hoarding concerns. MC311 Knowledge Base Article for Hoarding Referrals Collaborated with MC311 to develop a consistent and appropriate 

Knowledge Base telephone system when screening for How To Reason With Animal Hoarders different types of hoarding referrals, i.e. housing violation, neighbor concerns, who to call for hoarding advice/consultation, animal services, etc. To successfully implement an effective Hoarding Awareness and Intervention Program, resources from both County government and private partners are required. 

Current Resources As mentioned, the number of hoarding cases is expected to rise from the How To Reason With Animal Hoarders present number. It should be noted that hoarding cases require a disproportionate amount of public and private resources. Examples of resources expended on individual hoarding situations are described in Appendix H, Montgomery County Case Study Vignettes. 

The information below reflects the current resources available for addressing hoarding behavior, i.e. heavy duty clean-up, clutter removal, on-going How To Reason With Animal Hoarders case management and mental health intervention (Details regarding each resource can be found in Section 5.1). County Agencies, i.e. DHCA, DHHS, FRS, OCE, Police, HOC. 

Points of Contact within each department and telephone numbers. MC311 Online County Telephone Information Service. DHHS APS emergency home hazard fund. DHHS Case Workers. Short term residential or emergency shelter placement. Volunteers and religious groups from several Montgomery County How To Reason With Animal Hoarders Municipalities.

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