Vulnerable Adults And You!
Who is a Vulnerable Adult? Any person 18 years or older who receives services from a facility such as … • Nursing home • Hospital • Home health agency • Personal care organization • Chemical and mental health treatment facility • Licensed residential facility
Are All Consumers Protected –Each and every one of ProAct’s consumers is afforded protection under the Minnesota Vulnerable Adult Laws! Even those who do quite well standing up for themselves.
Types of Abuse? Physical or Emotional Produces physical or emotional pain or injury whether intended or not. Verbal Words or Gestures that threaten, harass, disparage, or humiliate Sexual Sexual contact between facility staff and consumer Financial Exploitation Unauthorized use of Consumer’s money or personal property that is detrimental to his or her personal income, finances, or financial worth
What is Neglect? Premeditated decision to fail to supply a VA with care or services including: • Food • Clothing • Shelter • Health Care • Supervision At appropriate levels necessary for a positive lifestyle
Mandated Reporters Any professional engaged in the care of vulnerable adults or Any employee of a facility that provides services to a vulnerable adult. This means YOU.
Liability of the Reporter A person making a report in good faith is immune from civil liability. However, a person making a false report is subject to civil action.
Responses to Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment Reports So now that you’ve reported a possible VA law violation, what can you expect?
Remember- the law is there to protect you too! • Protect adults who are vulnerable to maltreatment • Provide safe living and working environments for adults who have been maltreated • Assist persons charged with the care of vulnerable adults to provide safe environments
Players Under the Act: • Common Entry Point • Adult Protective Services • Lead Agencies • Law Enforcement
What is a Common Entry Point (CEP)? • An Entity designated by County Board • Receives & dispatches reports of vulnerable adult maltreatment • Triages emergency and APS issues
Type of Common Entry Points • Social Services Generally Monday through Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM • Law Enforcement Center Generally Evenings, holidays, weekends • Private Agencies
Information Collected by CEP’s • Names of alleged VA and alleged violator • Address, phone number and fax number of each person mentioned in the report • Birth date of VA and alleged violator
What does the CEP do with the report? • Referred to a Lead Agency • Referred to APS • Referred to law enforcement • Other ?
And some more things • Name of initial reporter • Specifics of incident – what happened? • Witnesses and collateral sources of information • Date, time, and place of incident
What are Adult Protective Services (APS)? • Provided by County Social Service Staff when there is an immediate risk of current harm • May be referred by CEP or other form of adult intake • Does not require a maltreatment or vulnerable adult report.
Examples of Immediate Risk: • The VA is without food or shelter, with no support system or plan • There is an absence of necessary supervision to prevent harm • Medical Treatment Issues • Untreated physical injury • No access to essential care • Refusing essential care
More Examples of Immediate Risk: • The incapacity of the VA results in an inability to access help • Isolation issues with evidence of a serious problem • Sexual Assault! • A need to arrange a SARS exam • A need to remove the perpetrator or VA from a shared residence
Identifying Support Systems Is there a formal or informal support system for the adult? None at all? Family, friends, church? Names & phone numbers of support? What does the support provide? Does the support help or hinder?
Identify some more support systems • Are there any agencies working with the VA? • Clinics? • Home Care? • Social Worker? • What services are received by the VA? • Meals on Wheels? • Visiting Nurse?
What has been the response? • What action has already been taken? • By whom? • Names, phone numbers?
Hazard & Safety Info! • Weapons • Violent Household Members • Current Threats of Harm • Dangerous Animals • Vermin (rats, bugs, lawyers) • Structural Damage • Hoarder Behaviors • Environmental Hazards
Let’s review the key players • Common Entry Point • Adult Protective Services • Lead Agencies • Law Enforcement
We’ve just discussed: • Common Entry Point (CEP) • Adult Protective Services (APS) So now you’re asking yourself -
What are Lead Agencies? • An agency responsible for investigating VA violations – there are three kinds: • OHFC – MDH • Licensing – DHS • Counties
Who investigates where? • State lead agencies are responsible for facility investigations County is responsible when: • Maltreatment is not related to a facility • Maltreatment occurs in a community setting
What Kind of Facilities? Health Department – OHFC such as: • Nursing Homes • Hospitals • Board & Care Facilities • Home Health Care Agencies
Oh, is that all? No! Check these out. Licensed DHS Facilities such as: Group Homes AFC Adult Day Care
What about the Counties? • The law says “ALL OTHER!” • Families • Private homes • Board & Lodges • Perhaps even PCPO’s • Schools • Work Settings • Etc., etc., etc.
Hey! That sounds like it also includes ProAct! It does.
And now for Law Enforcement What is Law Enforcement? • Prosecutors (local, County, and State • Sheriff’s Department • Local Police • The Vulnerable Adult Act has very little authority with law enforcement
We’ve covered a lot. • Who is a vulnerable adult? • What is Abuse as defined by the VA Act? • What is neglect as defined by the VA Act? • Who is Mandated to Report? • Are you Mandated to Report? • Under what conditions? • What if you don’t report? • What steps do you take when you witness an incident?