Organizations that care for children, youth, the elderly and vulnerable persons should have a written abuse policy. The document should be written with the intention to prevent abuse & ultimately protect those in their care.
The following is an example of what an abuse policy could look like. It is important to note that each organization will have their own specific protocol and requirements of insurers that offer Abuse coverage will also have specific minimum requirements.
A Statement, reasons for abuse document being created.
Define the various types of abuse (Physical; Sexual; Emotional; Verbal; Psychological; Neglect & Harassment)
Establish Job descriptions including what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated. Include reference as to who is included in the policy. (employees, volunteers, visitors, parents, independent contractors)
Include Governing Legislation, abuse reporting produces and reporting protocol.
Investigation & Disciplinary Procedures to address disciplinary action, suspension during the investigation, zero tolerance; false allegations etc
The document should require an acknowledgement that the policy has been read and understood with a signature page for all that have reviewed the document.
Recruitment, training and supervision are all important elements of abuse prevention and should be highlighted in your document.
A two unrelated adults present at all times is general rule in most organizations and is best practice.
It is important to note that in Canada there is no statute of limitation on abuse therefore it is vital that incident documents be kept forever and that these confidential documents be stored in a safe place.
It is recommended that legal counsel be consulted when establishing an Abuse Protocol.