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Considering Additional Risk

The risk of abuse for some people with disability can increase depending on a range of personal and service type factors. This includes gender, age, disability type and complexity, behaviours of concern, communication needs, culture and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander identity. Understanding the increased risk associated with specific services and settings is also vital for supporting people safely.

Exploring Risk: A Zero Tolerance Research Report considers these risks and how they can intersect to increase risk of abuse, neglect and violence.

These resources and links to useful information will help you understand and address these risks.

These resources are designed to help you understand and address personal risks of abuse, neglect and violence.

Gender

  • Stop the Violence Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA), People with Disability Australia (PWDA), The University of NSW (UNSW)
  • Voices Against Violence Women with Disabilities Victoria, Office of the Public Advocate, Domestic Violence Resources Centre Victoria

People with complex communication support needs

  • Speak Up and Be Safe: Free communication aids and resources to assist adult with a cognitive disability and/or communication difficulties identify and report abuse. Developed by SCOPE Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre.

Children and Young people with Disability

Domestic and Family Violence

These resources are designed to help you understand and address the risks of abuse, neglect and violence to your organisation.

Trauma Informed Support is a contemporary, evidence-based approach to supporting people who may have experienced trauma in their lives.

The Trauma Informed Support films have been developed to assist support workers, providers, people with disability and their families to understand what trauma is, the impact it can have, and ways in which everyone in an organisation can provide trauma-informed support.

Each film will help you to start a conversation about a different aspect of Trauma Informed Support. There are questions at the end of each film to help you to talk to each other. The films can be watched in sequential order with opportunities for reflection and discussion in between each film.

Alternatively, if there is a particular topic of interest, each film can be watched on its own.

Some tips for positive conversations: 

  • Think about where and when you will have the conversation so that everyone is comfortable and free from distraction.
  • Make sure you allow enough time so that everyone has the opportunity to speak and be heard.
  • Think about what follow-up might be needed. Let people know how they can keep the conversation going and where they can get support if needed.
  • Consider who you would like to facilitate the conversation.

Getting the support you need

Some of the things that are talked about in the films or that you talk about together might bring up feelings for people. This may be because of things you have experienced or seen in your work or personal life.

Please talk to someone you trust if you need to discuss any of the issues covered in these films. This may include a family member or friend, or a supervisor or manager.

You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for confidential 24-hour telephone crisis support.

Understanding Trauma

This film lays the foundation for understanding trauma and how it can affect people differently throughout their lives. Exploring the impact of trauma on the brain and the physiological responses it can prompt, this film aims to build understanding about human behaviour that supports a safer, more sensitive approach to supporting people who may have experienced trauma.

What is Trauma Informed Support

Acknowledging the possibility of trauma for the people you support is the first step in providing trauma informed support. This film explores the six foundational values of Trauma Informed Support - an evidence based, therapeutic approach which recognises signs and symptoms of trauma, enables pathways for recovery and actively seeks to avoid re-traumatisation.

A Trauma Informed approach to Positive Behaviour Support

Positive Behaviour Support is an approach which views all behaviour as communication, and aims to improve a person’s quality of life and build on their strengths. Understanding the impacts of trauma creates an opportunity to provide more effective positive behaviour support, as we are more attuned to a person’s needs and can respond in a holistic manner. This film provides key practices for implementing positive behaviour support through a trauma informed lens.

How can Organisations Embed a Trauma Informed Approach?

Embedding Trauma Informed support into organisations begins with recognising that the people who use its services, their families and staff may all have experienced trauma at some point. Drawing on the work of the Taking Time Framework (Jackson and Waters 2015), this film offers practical suggestions for how all levels of an organisation can play a powerful role in building and sustaining a trauma informed culture.

Building networks of support and recognising vicarious trauma

An important part of providing effective Trauma Informed Support is knowing when either you or the person you are supporting might need additional help. This film focusses on how we can build strong networks of support, and the ways in which individuals and organisations can recognise and respond to the signs and symptoms of vicarious trauma.

Acknowledgement

Much of the content of these films was based on the Taking Time Framework (A Trauma Informed Framework for Supporting People with Intellectual Disability)*.

*Jackson, A. L., & Waters, S. E. (2015). Taking Time – Framework: A trauma-informed framework for supporting people with intellectual disability. Melbourne, Australia: Berry Street. This report was sponsored by the NSW Statewide Behaviour Intervention Service (SBIS), Clinical Innovation and Governance (CIG), Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC), Family and Community Services (FACS).

Recognising Restrictive Practices is a set of short films and accompanying guide that explore the use of restrictive practices and encourage disability support workers and supervisors to reflect on and talk about less restrictive ways of supporting people with disability.

A short introduction film and seven pairs of films explore the following restrictive practices:

  • Restricted Access
  • Power Control
  • Mechanical Restraint
  • Chemical Restraint
  • Physical Restraint
  • Seclusion
  • Consequence Control

Watch the first clip for each restrictive practice then stop and answer the questions provided. Then watch the second clip to hear what others had to say.

More information about all of the topics covered in these films, as well as links to other materials can be found in the Recognising Restrictive Practices Guide [PDF] [ACCESSIBLE]

Legislation for restrictive practices is different in each state and territory. NDS recommends these films be used within your organisational policies and procedures on restrictive practices and with support from local professionals as required.

These films were funded by the Victorian Government and developed with support from the Victorian Office of Professional Practice.

What are restrictive practices
The short introduction covers four areas:

  • What are restrictive practices?
  • How are restrictive practices used and misused?
  • What is the impact of restrictive practices?
  • What can we do to reduce and eliminate the use of restrictive practices?
Restrictive Access Part 1
Watch Part 1 to find out more about Restricted Access and see what happens when Tom moves into his new house. Then stop to reflect or talk with your team about the following questions:

  • What did you observe?
  • What impact do you think this has on the people involved?
  • What would you question about this scenario?
  • What could be done differently?
Restrictive Access Part 2 - Reflections
Part 2 features people with disability, support workers and practice leaders talking about Restricted Access.
Power Control Part 1
Watch Part 1 to find out more about Power Control and see what happens when Tom cooks his first dinner for his new housemates. Then stop to reflect on or talk with your team about the following questions:

  • What did you observe?
  • What impact do you think this has on the people involved?
  • What would you question about this scenario?
  • What could be done differently?
Power Control Part 2 - Reflections
Part 2 features people with disability, support workers and practice leaders talking about Power Control.
Mechanical Restraint Part 1
Watch Part 1 to find out more about Mechanical Restraint and see what happens to Jai when the group head out for the day. Then stop to reflect or talk with your team about the following questions:

  • What did you observe?
  • What impact do you think this has on the people involved?
  • What would you question about this scenario?
  • What could be done differently?
Mechanical Restraint Part 2 - Reflections
Part 2 features people with disability, support workers and practice leaders talking about Mechanical Restraint.
Chemical Restraint Part 1
Watch Part 1 to find out more about Chemical Restraint and see what happens to Kim when his WiFi connection drops out. Then stop to reflect or talk with your team about the following questions:

  • What did you observe?
  • What impact do you think this has on the people involved?
  • What would you question about this scenario?
  • What could be done differently?
Chemical Restraint Part 2 - Reflections
Part 2 features people with disability, support workers and practice leaders talking about Chemical Restraint.
Physical Restraint Part 1  
Watch Part 1 to find out more about Physical Restraint and see what happens to Kim on movie night. Then stop to reflect or talk with your team about the following questions:

  • What did you observe?
  • What impact do you think this has on the people involved?
  • What would you question about this scenario?
  • What could be done differently?
Physical Restraint Part 2 Reflections
Part 2 features people with disability, support workers and practice leaders talking about Physical Restraint.
Seclusion Part 1
Watch Part 1 to find out more about Seclusion and see how Jai’s afternoon in the garden turns out for him. Then stop to reflect or talk with your team about the following questions:

  • What did you observe?
  • What impact do you think this has on the people involved?
  • What would you question about this scenario?
  • What could be done differently?
Seclusion Part 2 - Reflections
Part 2 features people with disability, support workers and practice leaders talking about Seclusion.
Consequence Control Part 1
Watch Part 1 to find out more about Consequence Controland see what happens when Ray and Lesley go out for lunch. Then stop to reflect on or talk with your team about the following questions:

  • What did you observe?
  • What impact do you think this has on the people involved?
  • What would you question about this scenario?
  • What could be done differently?
Consequence Control 2 - Reflections
Part 2 features people with disability, support workers and practice leaders talking about Consequence Control.

Preventing and Responding to Domestic and Family Violence Films

Women with Disabilities Victoria has collaborated with National Disability Services to develop four short films for disability workers on family violence and disability. The films are:

  • Preventing and responding to family violence
  • Prevention of domestic and family violence
  • Early intervention in domestic and family violence

The purpose of the films is to help disability workers identify and respond to family violence. Research shows that people with disabilities experience higher rates of violence than people without disabilities. Women with disabilities in particular experience very high rates of family and domestic violence. The disability workforce has a vital role to play in preventing, identifying and responding to domestic and family violence. Information about the topics covered in these films and more about domestic and family violence and to get support can be found in the Preventing and Responding to Domestic and Family Violence guide. [PDF | WORD]

Introduction: 

Preventing and responding to family violence

This film provides an overview of domestic family violence and introduces the three other films. The films use scenarios to assist disability workers to identify, understand, prevent and appropriately respond to domestic family violence.

Research shows people with disabilities experience higher rates of violence than people without disabilities.  Women with disabilities experience very high rates of domestic and family violence.

Audio description of film: 
https://vimeo.com/347665732/04d83bca85

Prevention: 

Prevention of domestic and family violence

This film focuses on prevention of violence against women and people with disabilities. Prevention of violence means doing things to change the causes of domestic and family violence.

More about prevention

Family violence is preventable. To prevent violence, we need to understand its causes. The causes are also called ‘drivers’. The drivers of domestic and family violence include beliefs, attitudes and behaviours that make it possible and acceptable for someone to use violence.

Drivers of violence against people with disabilities include negative attitudes toward disability, and control of decision-making by people without disabilities.

Prevention of domestic and family violence is about doing things to change the drivers of violence - like challenging negative beliefs about people with disabilities and sexist attitudes and behaviours and increasing education. It’s about changing our culture and changing society, so we can help stop family violence before it starts.

Points of reflection: 

What positive examples of prevention did you see in the film ? What did people do to: 

  • support respectful relationships?
  • support financial independence and decision-making?
  • provide access to appropriate education?
  • speak up and against disrespectful language and actions?

Have you seen anything similar to these examples of prevention in your own work?

Audio description of film: 

https://vimeo.com/347665840/ce179eb698

Early Intervention:

Early intervention in domestic and family violence: 
This video focuses on intervention in response to family violence early warning signs. Early intervention aims to ‘change the course’ for people at higher risk of experiencing violence.

About early intervention 

It’s important to understand what family violence is so you can recognise early warning signs and take action. Warning signs can include subtle or repeated patterns of control or coercion. Loss of power and control increases the risk of family violence. It can be hard for people with disabilities to recognise and challenge a pattern of control or abuse if they don’t know their rights and don’t have the power to make their own decisions. 

Early intervention means understanding who is at risk of family violence and doing things to support them to be safe, before violence happens.
A good example of risk is when someone has a communication board but there is no symbol they can use to report abuse. Early intervention can also include educating people about knowing what family violence is, what their rights are, and what they can do if they experience family violence. An example would be making sure people have information about what family violence is and where they can get help. 

Points for reflection: 

  • Did you recognise the early warning signs? 
  • What sort of supports were suggested by the support workers? 
  • Have you seen something similar to the scenario in this film? 

Audio description of film: 

https://vimeo.com/347665371/16e5bdbfe6

Response:

Responding to domestic and family violence

This film focuses on how to respond to family violence experienced by people with disabilities.

About responding to domestic and family violence 

When you are working with someone experiencing family violence, safety is a priority. It is essential to get advice so your actions don’t increase the risk of harm for the person you are supporting.

Talk to your organisation and make sure you understand your professional and legal obligations. An example of responding would be helping a person call a family violence service for support or the police to report the family violence.

A family violence service can help make a safety plan and provide other support. Some people may need to go to a refuge to be safe.

Supporting someone experiencing family violence can be confronting. It’s important to remember you might need support for yourself to understand and deal with what has happened. Remember you can use phone services like 1800 RESPECT to debrief. You can also talk to your manager or use your employee assistance program.

Points for reflection: 

  • Where can you get advice to support someone experiencing domestic and family violence?
  • When is it appropriate for police to be involved?

Audio description of film: 

https://vimeo.com/347666139/6c1e5e7db0

Other resources: 

National

ACT

Northern Territory

New South Wales

  • ADHC Behaviour Support and Practice Manual
  • Restrictive Practices Authorisation Panel: resources for individuals sitting or intending to sit on a Restricted Practice Authorisation (RPA) Panel for Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC)-funded and/or operated services within NSW. Developed in partnership with ADHC and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

riset project logo

Western Australia

Contact information
For more information contact Mary Lou McPherson, National Practice Lead - Zero Tolerance Initiative, (03) 8341 4300, ; or Dave Relf, National Practice Lead – Zero Tolerance Initiative, (03) 8341 4300,

© National Disability Services (NDS) 2017 applies to NDS Zero Tolerance logo, Zero Tolerance Framework and The Empowerment Circle.

Copyright permissions
NDS grants permission for users to copy, distribute, display, download and otherwise freely deal with Zero Tolerance resources for any personal or organisational purpose, on condition that proper acknowledgment is included on all uses. Any use of Zero Tolerance resources for commercial gain is strictly prohibited.