By: Dave Emerson, Nehi Arahanga (Clinical Lead)
The majority of the time, visiting whānau at their homes is an effective, ideal and safe way to work. However we should always mitigate the risks of visiting people in their homes. Before visiting anyone we should recognise and understand known risks, and have strategies to manage unexpected risk.
When we arrive we should environmentally scan the area:
think about where to park
assess the premises for hazards
listen for unusual sounds
look for anything unusual.
When at the door:
knock on door and then move back and to one side
give yourself space to retreat if necessary
if no one answers consider returning to your car to make to call.
When entering the whare:
respectfully wait to be invited in
follow the person into the house
as you enter be mindful of the layout and potential risks
allow plenty of personal space
avoid turning your back.
During the visit:
assess the room for potential hazards
be alert for items that may pose a risk
avoid reacting to the house
treat occupants with respect (you are their guest) and monitor their body language.
Leave the premise for safety reasons:
leave early if you are aware the person is escalating or risk to yourself is increasing
have a couple of plausible excuses to leave
If the threat is serious just leave.
We advise you to do not enter:
no one answers the door
there is evidence of a break in
there are conflicts/ noises coming from the house
the person answering the door gives any cause for concern and
for any reason you feel uncomfortable entering.