Vote NO on "Caregiver Abuse" SB 6205 (& HB 2681)
Legislation is currently being heard in the Washington State Legislature that would address what is being called “harassment, abuse, and discrimination experienced by long-term care workers” by the individuals whom they have been hired to support.” The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 775, which has proposed the bill, is calling their campaign “Had It.”
THE ARC OF Tri-Cities OPPOSES THIS BILLS BECAUSE . . .
IT IS INHERENTLY DISCRIMINATORY
This bill will require employers to keep a five-year record of an individual’s challenging behavior and share this record with caregivers. What many consider “challenging behavior” is often an inherent manifestation of an individual’s disability. By tagging certain clients as “bad,” this bill will make it harder for people with challenging behaviors to get the support the state is legally obligated to provide them. Such tagging is discriminatory and could result in a lawsuit.
BEST PRACTICES ARE ALREADY KNOWN
The bill calls for a work group to recommend best practices for training employers, long-term care workers, and clients about how to address challenging behavior. Best practice for supporting individuals who exhibit challenging behavior is already well-known. Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the Mandt System, and other methodologies have been proven to address challenging behavior without causing harm to or labeling the individual. Training by experts in these fields is readily available to employees in most communities.
THEY ARE UNNECESSARY
Individuals who have a history of challenging behavior typically have a written behavior support plan that advises caregiving staff about their tendencies toward challenging behavior, identifies triggers, and details appropriate responses. Caregivers who are adequately trained and familiar with their clients’ behavior plans are well-equipped to address challenging behavior.
PARENTS AND GUARDIANS ARE EXCLUDED FROM THE WORKGROUP
Many people with developmental disabilities cannot comprehend information sufficiently to voice an informed opinion about an issue. Parents and guardians often serve as next-best advocates these individuals. If a workgroup is to be convened, parents and guardians of those who have low comprehension must be included as a key stakeholder.
If you share our concerns, contact your state legislator immediately and urge them to vote NO on SB 6205 and HB 2681
CLICK HERE to find out what legislative district you live in.
CLICK HERE to read the text of these bills.