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Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults:  Addressing Vulnerability and Reporting Suspected Abuse


According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, health care settings have three important roles with regard to protective services:

  1. Reporting of the person identified as having a need for protective services.
  2. Evaluating the person´s needs within the health care provider´s area of expertise.
  3. Providing care to the person within the health care provider´s area of expertise.

Identifying Potential Vulnerability

It is imperative that all clients, regardless of treatment setting or living situation, are assessed as to their potential vulnerability to abuse or neglect. Not only do clients need to be identified as vulnerable or not; if the client is determined to be vulnerable, the situation must be addressed formally by identifying steps which are taken to reduce vulnerability, and identifying methods used to inform people in the client´s environment to more appropriately communicate with the client.

All statements regarding a client´s vulnerability are to be made initially in the evaluation report. Document any changes in status in the Treatment Summaries and the Summary of Service Sheet.

Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Protection

Minnesota Department of Human Services Adult Protective Unit

Minnesota Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults Act

Reporting Vulnerable Adults: St. Louis County Common Entry Point for Reporting

Reporting Suspected Abuse

Per the Minnesota Department of Human Services and Minnestoa State Statutes, student interns and clinic instructors are considered mandated reporters of abuse. If a client is reporting abuse or if the student intern or clinic instructor suspects abuse, it must be reported.

  • Student interns must report any suspicions or reports of abuse of clients to the clinic instructor.
  • The intern and clinic instructor will make the mandated report call to the St. Louis County Social Services.
  • The intern and the clinic instructor will complete the written report within 72 hours (exclusive of weekends and holidays) of the verbal report, as required by law. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor.
  • The report must be documented on the Summary of Service Sheet in the client folder as well.




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