Safety & Protection
Children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities are significantly more likely to be mistreated and abused by the general public, service providers, and even their families. They must be protected from harm and injury throughout their lives while also being provided with the tools and supports necessary to protect themselves.
It is The Arc New York’s position that:
- Family, friends and advocates of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and the community are the best sources of protection from harm. If, for any reason, the above groups are unable to provide the necessary protections, the appropriate protective agencies, support, and advocacy groups must be accessible and available to ensure that local, state, and federal laws are adequately enforced.
- Individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities must be given the opportunity to learn to live safely in their community, protect themselves and be able to seek appropriate assistance.
- Service organizations must ensure that all staff have the training and competence to work effectively and appropriately with children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
- Service organizations must screen all applicants to eliminate those with a history of perpetrating abuse, neglect, or a criminal record and evaluate all employees in accordance with NYS regulations, including those regarding the Justice Center, OPWDD and NYS Education Department, on a regular basis to ensure appropriate job performance.
- Service organizations must train staff to properly report allegations of abuse and neglect to the Justice Center for a determination of the proper investigatory process.
- Service organizations must immediately investigate allegations of abuse or neglect and take immediate corrective action when warranted.
- In accordance with OPWDD regulations and Mental Hygiene Law, parents and/or guardians must be informed of any investigation of abuse and neglect as required and be provided a statement of the final disposition of the investigation.