Mandated Reporter Brochure (PDF) - PDF by tng20023


									Mandated Reporter Protection                           What makes reporting abuse difficult?
                                                                                                                             The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Mandated Reporters are immune from civil or
criminal liability as a result of making a report.
                                                       Professionals may be:
                                                       • Shocked, angered or embarrassed by information
                                                                                                                             Disabled Persons Protection Commission
Non-mandated reporters are also protected pro-
                                                       • Hearing information that is very contrary to their
viding the report was made in “good faith.”
                                                         own personal standards
In addition, the DPPC will conduct investigations      • Unclear of their responsibility to report or what
into allegations that people have been retaliated        constitutes abuse or neglect
against for providing information to the DPPC.         • Reluctant to become involved
                                                       • Fearful that reporting will make the situation
Failure To Report                                      • Reluctant to break the "Code of Silence" among
                                                         employees                                                     Reporting
Failure to report incidences of suspected abuse        • Fearful of being brought into a legal matter,
and neglect can result in severe consequences for        where their reputation and character may be ques-
the alleged victim, other potential victims and the      tioned
Mandated Reporter. In Massachusetts, Mandated          • Fearful of retaliation from the alleged abuser or
Reporters who fail to file a report are subject to a
                                                       • Fearful of alienating the caretaker/abuser and
fine of up to $1,000.
                                                         having needed services refused
                                                       • Reluctant, when the alleged abuser is a colleague

To File A Report Call:
                                                       Victims may be:
24-HR. HOTLINE: 1-800-426-9009 V/TTY                   • Unable to explain what happened because of the
                                                         nature of their disability
                                                       • Uncomfortable sharing very private, personal
                                                                                                                       Abuse & Neglect
                                                         information                                                   Of Persons With Disabilities
                                                       • Having intense feelings of fear, shame, and guilt
                                                       • Dependent on the abuser/perpetrator for assis-
                                                       • Fearful of rejection
                                                       • Fearful of being blamed for the incident
                                                       • Fearful of threats of further harm to self or others          1-800-426-9009 V/TTY
                                                       • Fearful of getting the abuser/perpetrator in trouble
For DPPC Training Contact:                             • Fearful of being left without a home or family
                                                       • Fearful of violating the abuser/perpetrator's orders
Disabled Persons Protection Commission                                                                                   Deval L. Patrick          Governor
300 Granite Street, Suite 404                                                                                            Timothy P. Murray         Lieutenant Governor
Braintree, MA 02184                                            Mass. Department of Children & Families (DCF)             Jack McCarthy             Chairman
                                                               Phone: 1-800-792-5200         Ages birth to 17            Carla A. Goodwin, Ph.D.   Commissioner
Phone: (617) 727-6465
                                                               Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC)             Jo Ann Sprague            Commissioner
       (888) 822-0350 V/TTY
                                                               Phone: 1-800-426-9009         Ages 18 to 59               Nancy A. Alterio          Executive Director
Fax: (617) 727-6469                                            Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA)             This pamphlet was made possible through a grant
Web:                                 Phone: 1-800-922-2275            Ages 60 & above
                                                                                                                  provided by the Executive Office of Public Safety (EOPS)
    What is the D.P.P.C.?                          What Is A Mandated Reporter?                                     What To Do When An Individual
                                                                                                                    Reports Abuse Or Neglect
The Disabled Persons Protection Commis-            Mandated Reporters are persons who, as a result of
sion (DPPC) is an independent state agency         their profession, are more likely to be aware of abuse           • Be calm and supportive
created by legislation in 1987. Massachusetts      of persons with disabilities. Mandated Reporters are             • Never agree to keep the information secret
General Law chapter 19C (M.G.L. c. 19C)            required, by law, to report cases of suspected abuse             • Seek privacy so the individual is protected from
established the DPPC to protect adults with        to the DPPC when they have a suspicion that a                        disclosing in public
mental and physical disabilities, between          person with a disability is suffering from a reportable          •   Assure the individual that she/he did the right
the ages of 18 and 59, from abuse or ne-           condition of abuse or neglect.                                       thing by telling you about the allegation
glect by their caregiver(s) whether in a pri-      In Massachusetts, mandated reporting is an                       •   Never blame the victim
vate, family or state care setting.                individual responsibility. It is up to the individual            •   Do not investigate
The DPPC enabling statute fills the gap be-        reporter to be certain that a report of suspected                •   Immediately report the suspected abuse or neglect
tween the child abuse (through the age of 17)      abuse or neglect is filed. Mandated Reporters                    •   Maintain confidentiality
and elder abuse (age 60 and over) statutes.        should not rely on others, such as supervisors or
                                                   administrators, to file reports for them.
Mission Statement                                                                                                   How To File A DPPC Report
                                                   All allegations of abuse or neglect should be
The mission of the DPPC is “To protect             reported immediately and appropriately, regardless               When you suspect that abuse or neglect of a person
adults with disabilities from the abusive          of the personal feelings of knowledgeable staff.                 with a disability has occurred:
acts or omissions of their caregivers
                                                                                                                            Call the DPPC 24-Hour Hotline at:
through investigation, oversight, public           Who Are Mandated Reporters?
awareness and prevention."                                                                                                        1-800-426-9009 V/TTY
                                                   *   Medical personnel             * Medical examiners
Role of the D.P.P.C.                               *   Social workers                * Foster parents               The State Police Detective Unit
In cases of suspected physical, emotional and      *   Police officers               * Probation officers
sexual abuse or neglect of a person with men-                                                                                  During fiscal year 1998, a State Police
tal or physical disabilities, the DPPC:            *   Educational administrators * Dentists                                   Detective Unit (SPDU) was established
                                                   *   Guidance counselors           * Family counselors                       within the Commission. The SPDU is
• Receives and screens reports of suspected
                                                                                                                               comprised of a Detective Lieutenant,
    abuse and neglect through a 24-Hr. Hotline,    *   Daycare workers               * Psychologists                Sergeant and three troopers. The SPDU is physically
•   Receives and screens reports of all deaths,
    when an individual has died while in the       *   Public and private school teachers                           located within the offices of the DPPC. The troop-
                                                                                                                    ers of the SPDU review 100% of all complaints re-
    care of a state or private service provider,   *   Employees of private agen- * Employees of state agencies
                                                                                                                    ceived by the Commission to determine which of
•   Conducts investigations,                           cies providing services to      in the Executive Office of
•   Oversees investigations conducted by other         people with disabilities        Health & Human Services      these complaints constitute criminal activity against
    state agencies (the Department of Mental                                                                        a person with a disability. When there is an appear-
                                                                                                                    ance of criminal activity, the report is referred to the
    Retardation, Department of Mental Health,      What Is Reportable?                                              appropriate District Attorney’s office.
    and Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commis-
    sion) on the DPPC’s behalf,                    The standard for reporting suspected abuse or
•   Ensures that appropriate protective services                                                                    Contacting The Police
                                                   neglect in Massachusetts is any situation where there
    are provided when abuse is substantiated,      is a reasonable suspicion to believe that abuse or               Abuse or neglect committed against a person with a
•   Provides training and education for service    neglect exists. Neglect may include patient on patient           disability might also be a crime. Call your local po-
    providers, law enforcement personnel and       abuse.                                                           lice immediately if you think a crime, such as an as-
    others, and                                                                                                     sault & battery, sexual assault, rape or larceny has
•   Provides assistance to callers in clarifying       “If you suspect abuse or neglect, trust                      been committed. In an emergency, contact your lo-
    the presence of abuse or neglect.                  your feelings and report to the DPPC.”                       cal police department by dialing 911.

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