Abuse and Neglect Compliance and Reporting; Improper Treatment of Consumers
The Marion-Dillon County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs shall follow the directives 534-02-DD and 534-03-DD established by the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs in all cases involving Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation as defined therein and in applicable South Carolina statutes.
Any employee alleged to be involved in a case of abuse, neglect or exploitation will be placed on administrative leave without pay for the duration of the outside investigation. Upon completion of the outside investigation, the employee shall be re-instated or terminated consistent with the findings of the outside investigation unless the management or administrative review has determined agency policy or procedures have been violated. In this case, the employee may be terminated prior to the completion of the outside investigation.
Employees and volunteers are mandated reporters and are required to personally report abuse, neglect and exploitation as defined in SCDDSN directive 534-02-DD and the Omnibus Adult Protection Act (OAPA). The mandated reporter must follow the procedures as listed in Attachment A. This shall be done immediately after the situation is under control, but not more than one hour after the incident. After a report has been made to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) or Adult Protective Services (as appropriate), staff must immediately contact their supervisor, who shall, in turn, immediately notify the Executive Director or their designee - (Human Resource Administrator).
The Marion-Dillon County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs will not investigate any alleged abuse cases. The agency will complete a management review to determine if any policies or procedures have been violated. Should a case be vetted to the Long Term Care Ombudsman the agency will follow procedures as defined in directive 534-03-DD. The agency will complete an administrative review in this case.
It is the goal of the Marion-Dillon County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs to provide and promote the absolute highest standards of care and support. In keeping with these standards, mistreatment and impropriety are expressly forbidden and shall result in disciplinary action.
Mistreatment is defined as any intentional physical or mental injury or harm or the threat of such injury to a consumer by any employee or volunteer of MDCBDSN or its contract providers.
Mistreatment that does not fall under the Abuse definitions of the Omnibus Adult Protection Act will be considered a critical incident and will be reported per SCDDSN Directive 100-09-DD, "Reporting of Critical Incidents".
Any employee or volunteer who has reason to believe that a consumer has been abused or mistreated or is at risk for abuse or mistreatment is required to report such incidents immediately to the proper authority then to their supervisor, who in turn immediately notifies the Executive Director or his designee - (Human Resource Administrator). Immediately means as soon as possible, but at least by the end of the shift in which the incident has occurred.
Failure to report may result in disciplinary action.
Management And Administrative Reviews
All reports of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation that occur at MDCBDSN, as well as reports of suspected mistreatment and impropriety will be subject to review. A management or administrative review will be conducted to determine a) if the alleged mistreatment, violation of policy or impropriety is substantiated or unsubstantiated and b) what steps may be taken by management to lessen the likelihood that such mistreatment, violation of policy or impropriety will occur in the future. The allegation may also be investigated by a state investigative agency and/or law enforcement. All investigations will be reviewed by agency management and follow-up action will be taken if indicated. After agency review, any employee found guilty of mistreatment may be terminated. Termination for mistreatment shall not be subject to MDCBDSN's grievance procedure.
Employees are required to cooperate with an investigation and/or management review. Failure to cooperate or the intimidation of any victim, witness, or others during or after an investigation or management review may subject the employee to disciplinary action.
Investigations and management reviews are confidential and employees are restricted from discussing a case under investigation / review. Employees on administrative leave during an investigation will not enter any of the agencies facilities or have any contact with staff or consumers except their supervisor, Human Resource Administrator or the Executive Director.
MDCBDSN staff who are placed on administrative leave due to an allegation of abuse/neglect will be given the option to use annual leave instead of "leave without pay" (LWOP) Should all annual leave be used then they will be in a "leave without pay" status. If the staff is reinstated, their leave used while placed on administrative leave will be added back to their leave balance.
Attachment A - Reporting Allegations of Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation