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Violent & Disruptive Behavior

Categorized In: Case Services - General Client Services Policies

Approved Date: November 12, 2018

Owner: Vicki Rasmussen

Violent Behavior

Violent behavior from clients, visitors or staff will not be tolerated. Incidents of violent behavior or threats, which pose an imminent risk of physical harm to a client, VR employee or others, will immediately be reported to the local law enforcement agency and to VR administration in Lincoln. Appropriate legal action may be pursued against any person who engages in threatening or harassing behavior. Threats of suicide are covered in the Suicide Intervention policy on VRIS.

Definition of Violent Behavior

  • Violent behavior includes the use of physical or verbal force, harassment, intimidation, threats or abuse of power or authority. It is any action where the impact is to control by causing pain or creating fear. The following is a list (which is not exhaustive) of the types of behavior that are considered to be violent.
  • Physical abuse such as injuring or attempting to injure a person’s body by hitting, punching, kicking, biting, shaking, spitting, choking, or poking.
  • Verbal abuse, including videos, such as name calling, bullying, threatening, lewd or obscene comments used to humiliate or to intimidate a person.
  • Written abuse including emails, texts, social media comments that include name calling, bullying, threatening, lewd or obscene comments used to humiliate or to intimidate a person.
  • Sexual abuse or harassment; lewd,indecent or obscene conduct.
  • Stalking.
  • Any behavior that threatens the health or physical safety of staff or persons served.

Disruptive Behavior

Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.

Definition of Disruptive Behavior

  • Any behavior, which hampers the ability of VR staff to conduct business.

The following is a list (which is not exhaustive) of the types of behavior that are considered to be disruptive.

  • Harassing behavior including harassing phone calls, emails, texts, social media comments (including videos) and swearing.
  • Theft or property damage.
  • Gross acts of defiance towards staff.
  • Interference with the transaction of public business, whether intentionally or by coercion.

Questions for staff to ask themselves

  • Do I feel threatened by a client’s behavior and have I taken the steps to minimize risk of injury to myself?
  • Have I notified the Office Director and alerted other staff including Associates of my concerns prior to interview?
  • Can I meet with a client who may be verbally or physically abusive in an open area in the office and/or with another staff person?
  • Am I positioned near a clear exit during an interview with a client?
  • Is the interview room arranged for easy and clear exit?
  • Am I aware of all office exits in case of an emergency?
  • Am I displaying identifiable information regarding self or family in my cubicle or the office?
  • Is my body language sending an unintended message?
  • Is my dress provocative, messaging group affiliation or sending unintended messages?
  • If working alone or before or after normal work hours, have I increased awareness of my surroundings and taken measures to protect myself?
  • Is my personal car or state car doors locked when driving through unfamiliar areas or at night?
  • Is my state car and/or my personal car parked in a lighted lot with 360 visibility if working when dark?

Violent Behavior

  1. Clients, visitors, or staff who engage in violent behavior will be asked by a specialist and/or office director to leave the office setting.
  2. Individuals who pose an imminent risk of harm to others will be reported to local law enforcement.
  3. Office director will immediately report incidents of violence by non-staff and staff to the VR Director’s Office. For non-staff, followup by completing and submitting the ConsumerIncident Report form found on VRIS. The office director in consultation with VR administration will determine the need for subsequent action. For clients, this may include reassignment of specialist, team or office (with consultation of all parties including client and other office director), suspension of services, or in the most serious situations, termination or denial of services.
  4. The specialist and/or office director will document the incident with a task note in the client's QE2 record. Task note will describe the incident including all verbal & physical actions in detail. All VR actions must be documented.
  5. The Office Director will debrief all staff and offer EAP.

Staff who engage in violent, disruptive or other inappropriate behavior will be subject to corrective or disciplinary action per the NAPE/AFSCME Collective Bargaining Agreements and NDE Personnel Rules.

Client Disruptive Behavior

  1. The specialist will staff the client’s case with the Office Director.
  2. The specialist will document the incident in a QE2 task note including a description of the problematic behavior or pattern of behaviors.
  3. The specialist, office director and client will meet jointly to review policy.
  4. The discussion and the client's response will determine the need for any additional action steps.
  5. The specialist will document the joint meeting and results in a QE2 task note.
  6. The Office Director will debrief all staff and offer EAP.



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