Summit DD, like each County Board in Ohio, is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of those we serve. Occasionally there are circumstances that pose a threat to the health, safety or well-being of an individual with a developmental disability; we refer to these incidents as Unusual Incidents (UI) or Major Unusual Incidents (MUI).
In MUI circumstances affecting adults, Summit DD has dedicated staff who look into allegations. They look into the situation to determine what happened (investigation), what caused the event (cause and contributing factors), and work with individuals and their teams to put preventive measures in place to avoid future risk in similar circumstances (prevention plan). In instances of suspected criminal nature, Summit DD staff will refer cases to local law enforcement. In circumstances affecting children, cases are referred to Summit County Children Services.
What is an MUI?
An MUI, or Major Unusual Incident, is any alleged, suspected or actual incident that negatively affects the health, safety or welfare of an individual with a disability supported by Summit DD. These incidents can include allegations of abuse, neglect, theft or other potentially serious incidents, as outlined by Ohio Administrative Code.
What is a UI?
A UI, or an Unusual Incident, is an alleged, suspected or actual incident that is not consistent with policies, procedures or an individual’s care, but does not have the heightened risk to an individual’s health and safety as an MUI. Incidents can include falls, dental injuries, minor medication errors (that do not pose a likely risk to a person’s health), among others. In situations where UIs occur, your provider or SSA will look into the contributing factors that led up to the incident and work with you to create a prevention plan.
What happens during an MUI investigation?
Based on the information provided, cases that meet the MUI criteria (as outlined by the state MUI rule) will be opened. The case is then assigned to a member of our MUI department called an Investigative Agent (IA). At this point, the IA begins an administrative investigation. They will interview those involved to gather facts as well as review any relevant documentation. The goal of an investigation is to determine if there is evidence to suggest the allegation occurred; find out causes or contributing factors; and then work with an individual’s team to develop a prevention plan.
It’s important to remember that MUI investigations are not meant as punishment. They are simply an objective way to determine if an individual’s safety or welfare is at risk and then put measures in place to prevent harm to that person in the future.
While Summit DD’s staff cannot charge a person with a crime, they do work closely with local law enforcement. If evidence found during an MUI investigation suggests that a crime was committed, the IA will turn the case over to local law enforcement to investigate the situation criminally.
Who can report an MUI or UI?
Family, friends, providers or an individual themselves can report an incident. Summit DD has dedicated phone numbers during and after business hours to report incidents.
The MUI email and phone numbers are not meant to handle real-time emergencies or life-threatening situations. Should you see that a person is in a life-threatening situation, please call 911 immediately. MUI contact information is meant to alert Summit DD staff about a concern so they can look into allegations.
If you think a person’s health or welfare may be at risk, please contact the MUI department Intake at 330-634-8684.