H. B. 2048
(By Delegate Beane)
[Introduced February 9, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
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.
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
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
(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
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