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Indicators and signs of reportable incidents

  • 4 mins

At HenderCare, we want to ensure all team members are aware of the different reportable incidents and the correct way to report them.
Incidents may be identified in a number of ways, including where a team member or another person observes the incident, an impacted person makes a disclosure about the incident, or another party informs HenderCare that the incident occurred.
Whilst some incidents will be easy to identify, other incidents may not be as obvious, especially where abuse, neglect or exploitation are involved.
We encourage all our team members to look for signs that may suggest a person is at risk of abuse, neglect, sexual misconduct, or unauthorised use of restrictive practices.
Remember, if in doubt, please always call your Coordinator to seek further advice.
If you believe a service recipient’s safety or wellbeing is at risk, please contact your Coordinator immediately on 1300 764 433.
If you have an incident or feedback to report, please click here.
If a service recipient is in immediate danger or experiencing a serious medical episode, please call 000.
In the list below, we have listed some of the indicators and signs that may be associated with particular types of incidents. It is important to note that these are only examples and not an exhaustive list.
INCIDENT TYPE: Physical abuse, unlawful physical contact or physical assault
BEHAVIOURAL INDICATORS AND PHYSICAL SIGNS:
• Inconsistent, vague, unexpected or unlikely explanation for the injury.
• Unexplained injuries – broken bones, fractures, sprains, bruises, burns, scalds, bite marks, scratches or welts.
• Other bruising and marks that may suggest the shape of the object that caused it.
• Avoiding or being fearful of a particular person or worker.
• Being overly compliant with workers.
• Frequent and overall drowsiness (associated with head injuries).
• Out of character aggression.
INCIDENT TYPE: Sexual contact, sexual assault or sexual misconduct
BEHAVIOURAL INDICATORS AND PHYSICAL SIGNS:
• Dropping hints that appear to be about abuse.
• Bruises, pain, bleeding – including redness and swelling around breasts and genitals.
• Torn, stained, or bloody underwear or bedding.
• Repeating a word or sign, such as ‘bad’, ’dirty’.
• Presence of a sexually transmitted disease.
• Pregnancy.
• Sudden changes in behaviour or character, e.g.: depression, anxiety attacks (crying, sweating, trembling, withdrawal, agitations, anger, violence, absconding, sexually expressive behaviour, seeking comfort and security).
• Sleep disturbances, refusing to go to bed, and/or going to bed fully clothed.
• Refusing to shower.
INCIDENT TYPE: Psychological, emotional or verbal abuse
BEHAVIOURAL INDICATORS AND PHYSICAL SIGNS:
• Depression, withdrawal, crying or emotional behaviour
• Being secretive, and trying to hide information and personal belongings.
• Speech disorders.
• Weight gain or loss.
• Feelings of worthlessness about life and themselves; extremely low self-esteem, self-abuse, or self-destructive behaviour.
• Extreme attention-seeking behaviour and other behavioural disorders (e.g.: disruptiveness, aggressiveness, bullying).
• Being overly compliant.
INCIDENT TYPE: Domestic violence
BEHAVIOURAL INDICATORS AND PHYSICAL SIGNS:
• Depression, withdrawal, crying or violence.
• Feelings of worthlessness about life and themselves; extremely low self-esteem, self-abuse, or self-destructive behaviour.
• Extreme attention-seeking behaviour and other behavioural disorders (e.g.: disruptiveness, aggressiveness, bullying).
• Being overly compliant.
INCIDENT TYPE: Neglect
BEHAVIOURAL INDICATORS AND PHYSICAL SIGNS:
• Inappropriate or inadequate shelter or accommodation, including unclean and unsanitary living conditions.
• Weight loss.
• Requesting, begging, scavenging, or stealing food.
• Being very hungry or thirsty.
• Inadequate supply of fresh food.
• Constant fatigue, listlessness or falling asleep.
• Dropping hints that appear to be about neglect.
• Extreme longing for company.
• Poor hygiene or poor grooming – overgrown fingernails and toenails, unclean hair, unshaven, unbathed, wearing dirty or damaged clothing.
• Inappropriate or inadequate clothing for the weather.
• Unattended physical problems, dental, and/or medical needs.
• Social isolation.
• Loss of social and communication skills.
• Removal of means of communication.
• Displaying inappropriate or excessive self-comforting behaviours.
INCIDENT TYPE: Financial abuse
BEHAVIOURAL INDICATORS AND PHYSICAL SIGNS:
• Sudden decrease in bank balances.
• No financial records or incomplete records of payments and purchases.
• Person controlling the finances does not have legal authority.
• Sudden changes in banking practices.
• Sudden changes in wills or other financial documents.
• Unexplained disappearance of money or valuables.
• Person does not have enough money to meet their budget.
• Person is denied outings and activities due to lack of funds.
• Borrowing, begging, stealing money or food.

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