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DHS issues Respect and Dignity Practices Statement

August 12, 2013

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has issued a statement signed by Commissioner Lucinda Jesson outlining its commitment to achieving goals it has set for the care of individuals with disabilities. As part of the settlement of a 2011 federal court case involving the treatment of clients at a DHS facility, the department agreed to rewrite an administrative rule and move away from the use of restraints and seclusion in its care of people with disabilities.

The DHS Respect and Dignity Practices Statement (PDF), which has been posted on the department's public website, details the policy to prohibit procedures that cause pain, whether physical, emotional or psychological, and prohibit the use of seclusion and restraints for all programs and services licensed or certified by the department except in situations where there is an immediate threat of harm. The statement outlines the work of a committee in rewriting Rule 40 and the department's commitment to creating and implementing broader policies on positive supports, prohibited practices, training, monitoring and reporting across the programs it regulates.

DHS will work with the Olmstead Subcabinet in promoting these principles across state agencies and will include recommendations in the final Olmstead Plan. The subcabinet of state agency leaders is led by Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon. The Olmstead Plan is not only intended to carry out the actions agreed to in the Jensen Settlement Agreement but also to chart a course that will help ensure Minnesotans with disabilities have the opportunity to learn, work, and enjoy life in the most integrated setting. More information about the subcabinet is on the Olmstead Plan website.


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