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Personal Safety During Home Visits: Recognizing Dangers and Liability issues Original Presentation by Honorable Mark a Ihrig Judge Creek County Oklahoma.

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Presentation on theme: "Personal Safety During Home Visits: Recognizing Dangers and Liability issues Original Presentation by Honorable Mark a Ihrig Judge Creek County Oklahoma."— Presentation transcript:

1 Personal Safety During Home Visits: Recognizing Dangers and Liability issues Original Presentation by Honorable Mark a Ihrig Judge Creek County Oklahoma

2 Liability Issues Two Types of Liabilities 1. Personal Liabilities 2. Employer Liabilities

3 Personal Liability A. Failure to report abuse, dangerous conditions call the local Police department or Sheriff's Office with jurisdiction over the area where the abuse has occurred, or call the Division of Child and Family Services hotline, (800) PoliceSheriff's Office Put the report in the families file and give a copy to your supervisor

4 Personal Liability, cont. Personal actions that injure persons/property: Bad advise Slander Accidental breaking Auto accidents

5 Avoid indecent exposure … but accidents happen

6 Employer Liability Failure to train: »Employees my sue if injured on the job »Clients may sue if “expert” employee gives bad advise »Suits against employee my also name employer

7 Employer Liability, cont. Failure to protect –No implementation of safety plan after this workshop attendance –Ignoring concerns of workers –Notice of dangerous situations /clients –OSHA standards for training/ safety programs

8 Avoid turning your back! This could happen to you

9 Employer Liability, cont. Negligent hiring/retention –Failure to conduct adequate background checks –Hiring or retention of incompetent employee or known offender –Violation of constitutional rights: discrimination 1983 act

10 Employer Liability, cont. Negligence at common law: –Duty to exercise reasonable care –Duty to warn employees of known hazards –Employer not an insurer of employee safety

11 Sample Safety Plan Divided into 5 sections »Pre-visit preparation »Safety going in »Safety while in »Safety going out »Post-visit procedures

12 Sample Safety Plan Pre-visit preparation –Fill out the recruitment and enrollment form completely-make sure you have the names and ss # of all of the adults and children in the home –Make sure all pets are secured during visit – Go over visitation rules and have parent sign rules. Let the parents know that violation of rules may be grounds for termination of services

13 How secure does a pet have to be? Really secure

14 Pre-visit Preparation, cont. Check the internet and local law enforcement for arrest record/history of all the persons living in the residence. Establish a contact person with local law enforcement agencies Assign someone in your office to be the “monitor”. The monitor must know your visitation schedule for the day/week PE must provide monitor with addresses of families she visits and driving directions to and from homes (use map quest)

15 Pre-visit Preparation, cont. Arrive early to your first visit. Locate home and checkout neighborhood. Locate nearby safe areas restaurants, shopping centers, police or fire stations. Make sure you get a cell phone signal in the home. Practice excuse for leaving or canceling; visit-my sister has been in an accident…

16 Another excuse for leaving a visit: My brother-in-laws cousins friend’s next door neighbor’s kid has emergency nutritional needs

17 Safety going in Take an authoritative attitude on the home visit don’t appear to be an “easy mark” Before leaving the office put your purse and valuables in trunk-don’t wear expensive jewelry. Do wear sensible shoes and clothing Be observant of your surroundings

18 Classic example of an EASY MARK

19 Safety going in Don’t rummage around in your car get your stuff and get out of the car and into the house. Keep cell phone on your person (in a belt holder. Pre-program in your office number then pretend you feel it vibrate and hit send and use a emergency code and make an excuse to get out if you need to. Park in a well lit area. Never park in a driveway where you could get blocked in.

20 Safety while in Call monitor when you arrive at visit. Monitor should set a timer for the amount of time you have allotted for the visit. Call monitor when you are in your car driving away. Monitor should call you if you don’t call before the “worry time” starts.

21 Safety while in Never go into a residence when the person you scheduled the visit with is not home. Wait for the parent in your car. If a member of the opposite sex comes into the room dressed improperly make the excuse that you forgot something and leave and reschedule after you have left.

22 Safety while in Analyze your environment using : »Sight »Sound »Smell

23 Seeing danger Look for things you least expect

24 Safety while in –Do not stay if you see: »Weapons »Illegal drugs »Any evidence of illegal activity »Any radical changes in behavior such as clenching and unclenching fists constant fidgeting, nervousness, threatening tone of voice. May be dangerous signs of impending violence.

25 Safety while in ALWAYS go with your gut feeling. If you don’t feel safe you aren’t. GET OUT NOW! Sit close by the door and put your car keys in your pocket. You may have to flee without your bag. Don’t accept for or drink from a parent. Let parent know you are expected at another appointment ASAP Tell your supervisor immediately about the incident

26 Safety Going Out As you leave scan the area between you and your car. Don’t leave the residence until you feel safe. Put car keys in your hand with key ready to put in lock Get in your car quickly. Don’t put anything in the trunk. Leave area, call monitor make your notes at the office.

27 Leave area quickly

28 Post-Visit Procedures If anything alarming occurs report it to your supervisor immediately. Significant unsafe/unsanitary should be reported to DCFS immediately such as: »Sign of physical injury to a child »No running water »Overflowing or non-working toilets »Roaches, mice, rats »Too may pets »Junk blocking exits –FAILURE TO REPORT COULD RESULT IN CRIMINAL CHARGES AND/OR LEGAL LIABILITY.

29 Use your best judgment Would you report the dog, baby or parent?

30 Post-Visit Procedures If you are a victim of attach: Always notify the police Don’t change your clothes or take a shower until gaining permission fro law enforcement. Notify your supervisor ASAP write down all the details about the attacker –His/her vehicle –Witnesses if any; anything the attacker touched that might contain finger prints

31 What are the chances in Utah? YOU WOULD BE SURPRISE! WE WANT YOU TO BE SAFE– NOT SORRY

32 The ultimate safety


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