Abuse & Neglect

ABUSE AND NEGLECT:   KEEP IOWANS WITH DISABILITIES SAFE

DRI will focus on the following areas:

Reducing abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities in facilities

Why is this important? Working to reduce abuse and neglect in facilities, by investigating and monitoring is a core function of Disability Rights Iowa. Abuse and neglect is any act or failure to act, by a person with a duty to care for an individual with a disability in a facility or service setting, which caused or may have caused an injury or death.  Facilities and service settings are locations where individuals with disabilities receive services such as treatment, programming, or residential supports.[1]

Possible activities to achieve goal

  • Conduct individual investigations into suspected abuse or neglect, including deaths and injuries of individuals with disabilities resulting from abuse or neglect.
  • Monitoring facilities or service settings with allegations of abuse or neglect, with histories of the same, or as a matter of routine course.
  • Provide rights training’s to individuals residing at the mental health institutes.
  • Provide a self-advocacy training to individuals with mental illness.
  • Provide individual advocacy including technical assistance, negotiation, or other assistance, to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities receiving services in facilities or service settings.
  • Provide individual representation including injunctive or administrative interventions.
  • Collaborate with the Department of Inspections and Appeals, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman and others to prevent abuse or neglect.
  • Improve the investigations of other enforcement and oversight agencies when they are inadequate.
  • Issue public reports, where appropriate, to create systemic change, when appropriate.

Reducing abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities in home and community-based services settings.

 Why is this important? The Department of Inspections and Appeals does not investigate abuse and neglect in home and community-based settings. Instead, the Department of Human Services, which also contracts with providers of home and community-based services, investigates dependent adult abuse reports. To ensure that an independent entity investigates abuse and neglect in home and community-based service settings, DRI has made this an area of focus.

Possible activities to accomplish goals

  • Conduct individual investigations into suspected abuse or neglect of service recipients by HCBS providers, including deaths and injuries of individuals with disabilities resulting from abuse or neglect;
  • Provide individual representation or advocacy including technical assistance, negotiation, or other assistance, to protect HCBS service recipients’ rights related to abuse and neglect.

[1] Facilities include, but are not limited to, nursing facilities, mental health institutes, residential care facilities, and intermediate care facilities.  Prisons, jails and juvenile justice facilities are covered under another area of focus.