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Introduced Version House Bill 2048 History

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hb2048 intr
H. B. 2048


(By Delegate Beane)
[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §9-6-9 of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to investigating and interviewing alleged adult victims of abuse or neglect.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §9-6-9 of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6. SOCIAL SERVICES FOR ADULTS.
§9-6-9. Mandatory reporting of incidences of abuse, neglect or emergency situation; investigation and interview of alleged adult victims.

(a) If any medical, dental or mental health professional, christian science practitioner, religious healer, social service worker, law-enforcement officer, state or regional ombudsman or any employee of any nursing home or other residential facility has reasonable cause to believe that an incapacitated adult or facility resident is or has been neglected, abused or placed in an emergency situation, or if such person observes an incapacitated adult or facility resident being subjected to conditions that are likely to result in abuse, neglect or an emergency situation, the person shall immediately report the circumstances pursuant to the provisions of section eleven of this article: Provided, That nothing in this article is intended to prevent individuals from reporting on their own behalf.
(b) In addition to those persons and officials specifically required to report situations involving suspected abuse or neglect of an incapacitated adult or facility resident or the existence of an emergency situation, any other person may make such a report.
(c) The secretary shall develop a form for the filing of written complaints, as provided by section eleven of this article, and provide these forms to all nursing homes or other residential facilities, hospitals, ombudsmen, and adult protective service agencies in this state. The forms shall be designed to protect the identity of the complainant, if desired, and to facilitate the prompt filing of complaints.
(d) Upon notification of suspected adult abuse or neglect, each local adult protective service shall commence or cause to be commenced a thorough investigation of the report and the adult's environment. As a part of this response, within fourteen days there shall be a face-to-face interview with the adult and the development of a protection plan, if necessary for the safety or health of the adult, which may involve law-enforcement officers or the court.
(e) Each local adult protective service shall respond immediately to all allegations of imminent danger to the physical well-being of an adult or of serious physical abuse. As a part of this response, within seventy-two hours, there shall be a face-to-face interview with the adult and the development of a protection plan which may involve law-enforcement officers or the court.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require Adult Protective Services to investigate suspected adult abuse and neglect cases and meet with the adult victim within fourteen days of the report. However, if there is an allegation of imminent danger to the adult, this bill requires an immediate investigation and a face-to-face interview with the adult victim within seventy-two hours.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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