Some people leaving a situation of abuse by a caregiver may need some assistance with daily tasks. Programs must allow access to caregivers. If a new caregiver is needed, ask the person if they would prefer to use a particular agency.
- Many caregivers are mandated reporters of both child abuse and abuse of vulnerable adults. By definition, a person who needs care giving services is a vulnerable adult in Vermont. This means that bringing in a caregiver is likely to result in a report being made to Adult Protective Services. For some people, that is an acceptable risk, for others, it may not be. Work with people to determine the risks of a report being made, and how they would like to take care of their needs.
- Some people may be hesitant to hire a caregiver. Caregivers often have contact with sensitive and personal areas of the body because of the nature of their work. Someone who has experienced domestic or sexual violence may feel particularly sensitive to being touched. They may prefer having program staff assist them, especially if they have developed a sense of trust in the staff. This is not a service that you need to provide, though you can certainly consider the request. Staff may not be able to provide the assistance a person needs.
- Services such as toileting, bathing, feeding, and similar personal tasks fall outside the nature of the services that Network Programs typically provide. Assistance with chores may not, if the facilities are not accessible, i.e., laundry assistance for people who can’t get down the stairs to do their own.
- It can be helpful to make contact ahead of time with the VT Center for Independent Living, a local Home Health provider or your Area Agency on Aging. These organizations may be able to help you recruit a few caregivers who could be available on an emergency basis to come in and provide services. This way you can screen the individuals in advance and discuss confidentiality requirements. If you have carefully screened the caregivers, the person with a disability may feel safer with them. This also allows you more control over who knows the location of the program (since you cannot bar a person who needs a caregiver from having their caregiver come to provide services).