The role of DSS, Police and the Facility

The Role of the Department of Social Service (DSS)

  • Upon receiving a report of abuse, DSS has the role to determine whether or not the facility has policies and procedures in place for reporting and managing resident abuse. 
  • It is not the Department’s role to investigate the abuse or deal with/punish the alleged perpetrators. 

The Role of the Police

  • Police are to determine whether or not an assault occurred. 
  • Police will interview witnesses to the victim of the alleged assault (if possible), the victim of the alleged assault and the alleged perpetrator of the assault. 
  • Police will determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to form a case and recommend charges. 
  • If charges are laid, the alleged offender is dealt with via the judicial system. 

The Role of the Facility

  • The facility will investigate allegations of abuse as per its complaints management process.
  • Evidence collected from the investigation will be used to recommend disciplinary action commensurate with the severity of the alleged assault and the level of evidence to prove that it occurred. 
  • The results of investigations are confidential. 
  • Report as soon as possible – from the point of police investigation, the trail will go ‘cold’. Provides the opportunity to check the resident for any signs of abuse – bruising, scratches. 
  • Alleged victim, witnesses will have a fresher recollection of what happened. 

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