DPPC defines prevention as: Any action taken to prevent abuse or neglect from occurring …or, any action taken to protect the individual from risk of further abuse, once it has already occurred.
DPPC is committed to addressing the problem of abuse and neglect as it relates to persons with disabilities. To accomplish this, DPPC created an Abuse Prevention Unit and included abuse prevention as part of the agency mission. DPPC uses education and awareness as primary tools in its efforts to stop abuse. However, abuse prevention encompasses a wide range of activities.
Some of DPPC's ongoing prevention activities include:
- Developing curricula and trainings designed to educate mandated reporters, caregivers and other professionals regarding the identification and reporting of abuse of persons with disabilities
- Providing consultation or information to other agencies interested in the development of abuse prevention programs
- Collaborating with other agencies to develop presentations, programs and services related to abuse prevention and improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities
- Developing and distributing educational materials to introduce DPPC operations, the role of mandated reporters, and indicators of abuse and neglect
- Providing background checks for service providing agencies looking to hire potential employees who may have been previously reported to DPPC as alleged abusers. Approximately 1,000 such requests are processed each month
- Collecting and analyzing data from DPPC's database, which tracks over 500 pieces of information on each call to the 24-Hour Hotline
- Providing vendor surveys to service providing agencies, upon request, to assist them in identifying and correcting trends in their programs that may lead to abuse and neglect
Other prevention highlights
The DPPC Abuse Prevention & Outreach Unit represents DPPC on several statewide, inter-agency committees and boards, and serves in an advisory capacity regarding the development of policies and practices to better serve persons with disabilities who are victims of abuse and neglect and sexual assault. These include the:
- Brockton Area Roundtable on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
- Brockton Sexual Assault Response Team (S.A.R.T.)
- DPH's State Prevention Team for Sexual Violence Prevention and Education (known as EMPOWER)
- EOHHS Olmstead Plan Subcommittee
- Governor's Council to Address Sexual and Domestic Violence
- Massachusetts Mortality Review Committee
- National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA)
- Northwest District Attorney's Crisis Intervention Program Training Development Subcommittee
- Project SAFE Community Advisory Group (CAG) in Central Massachusetts.
- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.) Advisory Board