The number of allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation is increasing in day services overseen by the state’s disabilities agency, according to the latest quarterly figures released by the department.
Through three quarters of the fiscal year, 67 such allegations have been reported, compared to 58 for all of the 2016 fiscal year and 65 for 2015, according to the data, released Thursday at the monthly meeting of the state Department of Disabilities and Special Needs Commission.
“I think there has been a lot of attention on ANE (abuse, neglect and exploitation) and we’ve done a lot of training with regards to when in doubt, report,” said DDSN Executive Director Beverly Buscemi. “We’ve done a lot of education of what the system is and what it should look like. So one possible explanation is that training has had an impact of when in doubt, report.”
Day services include work programs and job training as well as programs in centers where participants learn social skills and personal care.
In all programs overseen by DDSN, there were 561 such allegations filed from last July 1 through the end of March, according to the figures, which puts it on a pace to have 748 for the year compared to 627 for the prior fiscal year.
DDSN, which cares for thousands of those with intellectual disabilities, autism, and injuries of the brain or spinal cord, provided the figures as part of its quarterly reporting of its system, which includes regional facilities, private providers and county disabilities agencies.
The agency on Thursday announced that it was adding a “risk management coordinator” to review abuse and neglect cases — not only those involving an arrest but also those in which there has been a “significant negative outcome” — in hopes of making suggestions to prevent other such incidents.
The new position…