Abuse and Neglect Oh My…

Abuse and Neglect

It is surely frowned upon topic in the industry of working with individuals with disabilities however it shouldn’t be because it’s time to address it. In training and policies and procedures all staff must sign off to understanding the rules around abuse and neglect and what that is. It appears clear cut or at least when training happens it seems that way.

The real work comes when the introduction of those you served comes into the equation. It’s the test of the training you just had, right? NO! Mistake number one. A training is never going to take the place of a clinician supporting the caregiver or direct care staff to truly understand the individual served and prevent abuse. I have been in this industry for probably upwards of 15 years now. I have seen upper management place responsibility on staff at times on direct care professionals saying they are “bad eggs” or “this industry is not a fit” or “they just don’t have patience.” The reality is they were never properly trained in almost all cases. I have seen stuffy clinicians who choose not to even work around the individuals served try to dictate behavior plans without ever really knowing any of the parties meaning staff and clients. I have watched staff and agencies take over programs without being prepared administratively never mind their incompetence to teach their staff. I have watched greedy top heavy agencies run to accept the revenue and not fully execute a comprehensive plan to train. The worst part is the lack of collaboration amongst providers for the betterment of the individuals and person centered planning that should occur.

When we have forgotten the plan is to move all individuals served along to reach their potential in a safe environment, no matter what any agency has for a mission statement.

When we are putting the individual first we put ourselves aside and work toward the greater good which is to train, have all team members pull up a chair to the table and do what is right, not popular.

It is time to take a look at the system, refine the details and work together as providers to make things better regardless of feelings toward other members of the team. It’s time to go where the rubber meet the road and get our hands dirty being out on the floor working with the individuals and making it happen, increasing goals met, decreasing behaviors and promoting consistency.

If you want abuse and neglect to cease, you have to model what’s right, not popular. Camera up your programs, use them for assistance in training not seeing whether or not your staff are wearing flip flops and get out from behind your screen.  Become the change you want to see! If we all get up together we will see a change and a new system will emerge! Let’s do this!

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