Statement from the Director on Reporting Abuse and Neglect

Recent news reports have highlighted the importance of each DMH employee reporting suspected abuse and neglect of the consumers we serve. I wanted you to be aware that at least one recent news report seriously misrepresented our attitude and approach to supporting individuals who report abuse or neglect.

All DMH employees are required and expected to report suspected abuse or neglect, and employees who report suspected abuse or neglect will be supported by the Department in their efforts to assure that the individuals we serve do not suffer from abuse and neglect. However, employees who fail to report suspected abuse or neglect will be subject to disciplinary action. In particular, employees who fail to report suspected physical abuse, sexual abuse, instances of neglect that a reasonable person would conclude could result in serious harm to the consumer, or misuse of consumer funds or property, will be terminated.

In addition to reporting suspected abuse or neglect to your supervisor, you may also report any suspected abuse or neglect directly to the head of your facility or by calling the Department's Consumer Safety Office, toll free at 1-800-364-9687.

For your information the document below outlines the process used by the Department in reporting, investigating, and resolving allegations of abuse and neglect in Department facilities.

I appreciate the special efforts so many of you make every day to make sure that our facilities provide effective services and supports in a safe and supportive environment.

Process Used Regarding Allegation of Abuse and Neglect The Department has policies and procedures for reporting alleged abuse/neglect incidents and in investigation thereof, either locally or independently through a Central Office investigation, which include Department Operating Regulation (D.O.R. 2.205). In brief, below is that process for state-run facilities.

Deaths: The Department makes every effort to serve as a support to family, friends, and those serving the individual in these circumstances. In addition, the facility staff always assist with final arrangements, returning property to appropriate persons, and any other support they can provide: