What Happens Once Abuse & Neglect is Reported?

adults supervising kids

How your organization chooses to respond to situations covered under abuse prevention program establishes the mood and tone of the culture. Organizational response is the difference between an effective abuse prevention program and one that fails to perform as intended, protecting both the individual and the organization.

Once an organization learns of a concern or allegation about the treatment of a participant. Swift and determined action, including reports to authorities, must be taken to reduce any subsequent risk of harm.

Abuse Response Plan

Response can be difficult to define at times and will look differently from one organization to the next depending on operations and characteristics unique to that organization. There are some general ways, to define responding that can be incorporated into an abuse prevention program. These include:

  • Comforting and finding assistance for survivor;
  • Interrupting inappropriate behaviors and policy violations and determining corrective action(s);
  • Reporting incidents as appropriate within the organization to supervisors, administration and externally to authorities, parents, media, etc.
  • Evaluating and changing practices to reduce the chance of future incidents.

With the proper critical response protocol in place, your organization can:

  • Reduce the risk of an incident or false allegation of abuse.
  • Prevent an incident that could damage reputation and lead to civil litigation or criminal charges.
  • Prevent further harm from occurring.

Best practices to consider in your response plan are:

  • Responding swiftly, don’t wait for something little to turn into something major to trigger response.
  • Respond to the little happenings.
  • Treat “near misses” as free lessons and take every opportunity to learn from them.
  • Don’t respond in a way that treats the situation as an isolated event.
  • Use a continuum of responses that meet the needs of the situation.

Abuse Prevention: Plan. Protect. Respond.

 

Learn practical ways to help stop abuse in your community.

 

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