This page contains the Revised DDS Risk Management Manual as well as a set of guidelines that address several of the most commonly occurring health and behavioral health issues for the individuals DDS supports.

Exposure to risk is a part of life and it is only through making choices and developing good judgment that we all learn and mature.  People with intellectual disability however, may be vulnerable to neglect, abuse and a variety of other dangerous situations if they have not learned how to, or are not able to, keep themselves safe. People with disabilities share the same vulnerabilities as others, but they usually have less power to deal with their vulnerability and to access the support they need. 

In December 1998, The Department of Developmental Services implemented the statewide Risk Management system.  In the decade since its implementation, the system has improved and evolved into an integral part of the support plan for people with disabilities. The system remains grounded in the principles which built the framework and components of a comprehensive process to review, assess and manage risk for individuals with disabilities. They are as follows: 

  • Risk management emphasizes safeguards and strategies to manage reasonable risk whenever possible.
  • Identifying and addressing unreasonable risk should be respectful of an individual's rights while addressing competency and capacity to make informed choices. 
  • The determination of who is at risk should include those who know the individual best.  It should be based on professional/clinical assessments, understanding of any cultural and linguistic issues and should always be integrated with the ISP process.
  • A risk management system should be locally based and implemented by individuals trained, supervised and supported in making knowledgeable decisions through a collaborative group process.
  • Those making determinations about responsive courses of action must have access to clinical, legal and administrative consultation and to individuals/groups with relevant training/expertise.
  • The risk management system must include ongoing oversight and monitoring activities based on accurate data and focused on promoting institutional learning.

Guidelines and Recommendations to Manage Risk and Health



This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.