Practice Statement: Abuse and Neglect

People are never subjected to abuse, neglect, mistreatment and/or exploitation of any kind. No one will threaten or intimidate people to make them comply with polices or individual staff preferences. People will live and work free of physical or mental harm. Abuse and neglect are unacceptable.

Practice Definition: Abuse and Neglect

What would be observed in practice:

  • People are not subjected to actions, by anyone, that cause them physical or emotional harm
  • All allegations of abuse and neglect, regardless of the source, are addressed
  • Staff recognise and report any suspected incidents of abuse and neglect
  • Support is always provided for the person who has been potentially victimised
  • All staff in their houses/centres/community services are familiar with the Detecting and Reporting Abuse Policy and procedure

Role-based Resources

Residential Staff

Discussion Questions

  1. What can emotional abuse look like? (Each person in the team should give an example of how to identify emotional abuse)
  2. Why do you think a person wouldn’t speak up (even if they could) when they are abused?
  3. Read the protective factors listed in the activities. Consider whether the people who live in the house have these factors in their lives. What can the team do to increase the number of protective factors around the people?

Activities

  • Protective Factors Against Abuse:
    – Active and engaged supporters who have been trained to recognise abuse
    – Disabled person is active in the community
    – Unpaid relationships (natural supports)
    – Multiple relationships (the more the better!)
    – Explicit understanding of the control excerpted over people with disabilities (“often expressed through support”)
    – Workers to have training to make moral decisions
    – A good framework to respond to abuse claims
    – Disabled person’s knowledge of what abuse and neglect is
    – Disabled person’s knowledge of where to get help
    – Victim support services are provided to people who have experienced abuse
    – Advocacy to walk beside people reporting abuse
    – Good self-esteem and confidence
    – Good communication skills
    – People around the disabled person perceive them as valued (e.g. many socially valued roles)
    – Primary supporters (family or staff) are well rested and supported themselves
    – All incidents are reported as early as possible

 

  • Abuse Scenarios:
    Consider the types of abuse listed below then watch the video and discuss whether the video portrays abuse or not.Types of abuse:
    • Physical abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Emotional/Psychological abuse
    • Neglect
    • Financial abuse

    Is this abuse?

    Community Services

    Discussion Questions

        1. What can emotional abuse look like? (Try to come up with as many examples as you can)
        2. Why do you think a person wouldn’t speak up (even if they could) when they are abused?
        3. Read the protective factors listed in the activities. Consider whether the people you support have these factors in their lives. What can you/ the team do to increase the number of protective factors around the people?

    Activities

    Protective Factors Against Abuse:
    – Active and engaged supporters who have been trained to recognise abuse
    – Disabled person is active in the community
    – Unpaid relationships (natural supports)
    – Multiple relationships (the more the better!)
    – Explicit understanding of the control excerpted over people with disabilities (“often expressed through support”)
    – Workers to have training to make moral decisions
    – A good framework to respond to abuse claims
    – Disabled person’s knowledge of what abuse and neglect is
    – Disabled person’s knowledge of where to get help
    – Victim support services are provided to people who have experienced abuse
    – Advocacy to walk beside people reporting abuse
    – Good self-esteem and confidence
    – Good communication skills
    – People around the disabled person perceive them as valued (eg many socially valued roles)
    – Primary supporters (family or staff) are well rested and supported themselves
    – All incidents are reported as early as possible

    Hub and Support Staff

    Discussion Questions

    1. More to come…
    Activities
  • More to come…
  • Managers and Coordinators

    Discussion Questions

    1. How do we prevent abuse in houses where people have limited communication abilities and therefore are unlikely to be able to report it?
    2. Read the RNZ article and discuss what barriers may exist for staff to report on abuse and neglect when perpetrated by another staff member. Is there anything else managers can do to support staff better?
    3. What avenues do staff have to discuss their concerns when they aren’t sure if something is right or wrong? (Note the difference between reporting abuse and discussing concerns.) They may face similar barriers to those discussed in question 2 without the protection of a formal reporting process. What can we do as managers to make this a safe place for discussion?