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Appendix VII: APS Specialist Safety

APS IH / October 2013

DFPS employee safety is of primary importance in carrying out our mission. Safety begins with being aware of our approach to interviews, our surroundings, and our personal habits. DFPS Safety Policy addresses the following:

  •   Standard precautions for guarding against infection;

  •   Standard precautions for avoiding violence; and

  •   Standard precautions for safe driving.

In addition to the DFPS Safety Policy, the following measures should be considered.

See also Safety Central for more information on protecting yourself, personal safety plans, carrying protective products, and more.

Avoiding Violence

APS staff safety is the most important factor in any interview. APS staff must immediately leave any situation they feel is unsafe.

If an interviewee expresses resentment of APS involvement (perceives it as interference), angrily rejects investigation or services, or shows physical and verbal signs of hostility, APS staff do not escalate the situation by insisting on interviewing the person or conducting the assessment. The APS staff must leave the home and come back another time with a co-worker, supervisor, or law enforcement, if necessary. He or she can try again to establish rapport and complete the investigation.

No law, policy, or local procedure requires APS specialists to enter or remain in a dangerous situation.

Mitigating Risk in the Environment

APS staff, as appropriate and depending on circumstances, do not enter property with posted “no trespassing” signs, purple fence posts to indicate no trespassing (found mostly in rural areas), and so on, unless first given permission by a resident of the property.

It is advisable to use global positioning system (GPS) in order to determine your location and the nearest police, fire or other emergency assistance location.

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