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Incident Management: Interpretive Guidelines Bulletin
October 30, 2002

The Office of Mental Retardation (OMR) has responded to input of providers and counties about the Incident Management Bulletin obtained from focus groups and data gathered in the Home and Community Services Information System (HCSIS). An Interpretive Guideline Bulletin, effective October 31, addresses two areas of concern. Other changes to the original bulletin will be made in the future, as discussed by John Sloyer and Paul Hindman at the PCPA Annual Conference.

The Interpretive Guideline Bulletin is intended to give interpretive guidance to counties, providers, and Certified Investigators on the reporting of incidents of abuse and the conducting of investigations. It applies to two areas of the Office of Mental Retardation Bulletin #00-01-05, Incident Management:

  1. Certified Investigations: Family Homes, Family Members, and Community Establishments, and
  2. Individual to Individual Abuse.

In both of the above cases prompt steps must first be taken to protect individuals. In the case of abuse in families and in "community establishments," Certified Investigators will not be required to investigate in those settings. They will be required to complete the Investigation Summary in the HCSIS IM application, stating the reason(s) why the investigation could not be concluded. They must also review the protective action taken by their agency and communicate with county staff (outside of HCSIS) to alert the county that appropriate interventions are needed to protect the individual. The county is to then take action to protect the health and safety of the individual.

When the incident category of Abuse - Individual to Individual is selected, the HCSIS IM application will no longer mandate a Certified Investigation. This gives the provider the responsibility to determine, depending on the seriousness of the incident, if an investigation should be conducted. Serious incidents include, but are not limited to, sexual abuse and serious injury. When an investigation is not required but is desired, a Certified Investigator is to be selected in HCSIS. Counties and OMR Regional Offices must examine these incidents closely to ensure that such incidents receive the safeguards afforded by a Certified Investigation.

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