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A09845 Summary:

COSPNSREnglebright, Mosley, D'Urso, Aubry, Pellegrino, Lifton, Walter, Bohen
MLTSPNSRAbbate, Barron, Cook, Davila, Galef, Gottfried, Hikind, Jenne, Joyner, McDonald, Richardson, Schimminger, Simon
Amd 473, Soc Serv L; amd 202, Eld L
Relates to creating a hotline for the reporting of various forms of abuse which may jeopardize the health or welfare of any person.
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A09845 Actions:

02/14/2018referred to children and families
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A09845 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Lupardo (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law and the elder law, in relation to providing protective services to certain individuals   PURPOSE: The legislation creates a hotline for the reporting of various forms of abuse which may jeopardize the health or welfare of vulnerable adults.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: Amends Section 473 of the social services law to add a new subdivision that establishes a statewide, toll-free hotline to receive reports of various forms of abuse regarding vulnerable adults. The hotline shall be operational twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Section 2: Amends subdivision 16 of section 202 of the elder law to clarify that a public awareness campaign regarding elder abuse as estab- lished by Chapter 455 of the Laws of 2016 shall also include information regarding the statewide hotline. Section 3: Establishes the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: It has been noted that elders who experience abuse, even moderate in severity, have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been abused. A recent survey by the U.S. Government Account- ability Office found that nationally, Adult Protective Services (APS) Programs would benefit from more "easily accessible" and "centrally available" information on effective services for elder abuse cases. While many believe that the resources available to APS are akin to those provided to Child Protective Services, there are actually significant disparities between the funding streams available for each, as well as their respective mandated reporting requirements. While both systems are responsible for reporting, investigating, and intervening in reported cases of the abuse of a vulnerable person, Adult Protective Services unfortunately has less opportunities for funding from federal and state resources, and must deal with drastic understaffing and constrained resources to protect an increasing aging population. As a compounding factor, New York is one of four states that currently does not require reporting when someone suspects adult abuse. As a result, there are systematic problems of cases of abuse going unreported. In fact, a recent study of elder abuse prevalence in New York found that there was a significant discrepancy between the rate of elder abuse events reported by New Yorkers and the number of cases referred to service agencies, amounting to an incidence rate calculated at nearly 24 times greater than that of the number of referred cases. Absent a large overhaul of our current system of reporting and investi- gating elder abuse cases across the state, we must begin to take steps to ensure that there are systematic improvements made to guarantee that we are responding to the needs of the growing aging population of our state and supporting the local entities that have served at the front lines of investigation and intervention. Currently, reports of suspected elder abuse can be received through a hybrid of offices including local and state hotlines and offices. On the state level, Adult Protective Services receives complaints through a hotline established through the Office of Children and Family Services. This legislation will enhance the already established hotline with requirements that it be staffed on a twenty-four hours, seven days a week, basis to ensure that reports are received in a timely and effective manner. Given the increasing elderly population of our state, as well as other vulnerable adults, it is time that we signal to the public that these cases are a serious problem that will be combatted with all the tools available to the state on a continual basis.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Formerly A-8160 of 2017, Vetoed by Governor.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Subject to appropriation   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect October 1, 2019.
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A09845 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 14, 2018
        Introduced  by  M. of A. LUPARDO, ENGLEBRIGHT, MOSLEY -- Multi-Sponsored
          by -- M. of A.    ABBATE,  BARRON,  COOK,  D'URSO,  GALEF,  GOTTFRIED,
          HIKIND, JOYNER, McDONALD, SCHIMMINGER -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Children and Families
        AN  ACT  to amend the social services law and the elder law, in relation
          to providing protective services to certain individuals

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 473 of the social services law is amended by adding
     2  a new subdivision 9 to read as follows:
     3    9.  (a)  Within  amounts appropriated therefor, the office of children
     4  and family services shall establish  a  statewide,  toll-free  telephone
     5  number  (a "hotline") to receive reports consistent with subdivision one
     6  of this section. The hotline shall receive  reports  of  allegations  of
     7  reportable  incidents twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week.  The
     8  hotline shall accept anonymous calls.
     9    (b) When any allegation that could reasonably constitute a  reportable
    10  incident  is received by the hotline, the hotline shall accept and imme-
    11  diately transmit notice of the report orally and electronically  to  any
    12  appropriate  state  agencies or local social services office. Whenever a
    13  telephone call or electronic transmission to the hotline alleges an  act
    14  or  circumstances that may constitute a criminal offense or an immediate
    15  threat to an individual's health, safety or welfare, the  hotline  shall
    16  convey, by the most expedient means available, the information contained
    17  in  such  call or transmission to the appropriate law enforcement agency
    18  or district attorney and, to the extent necessary, the appropriate emer-
    19  gency responder, and the relevant state agency or local social  services
    20  office.
    21    (c) The commissioner is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations
    22  to facilitate the implementation and operation of the hotline, including
    23  but  not  limited  to,  procedures  for timely and accurate referrals to
    24  other state agencies or entities that may have  investigative  or  over-
    25  sight authority regarding reported incidents.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 9845                             2
     1    § 2. Subdivision 16 of section 202 of the elder law, as added by chap-
     2  ter 455 of the laws of 2016, is amended to read as follows:
     3    16.  to  the  extent appropriations are available, and in consultation
     4  with the office of children and family services, conduct a public educa-
     5  tion campaign that  emphasizes  zero-tolerance  for  elder  abuse.  Such
     6  campaign shall include information about the signs and symptoms of elder
     7  abuse,  identification  of  potential  causes  of elder abuse, resources
     8  available to assist in the prevention of elder  abuse,  where  suspected
     9  elder  abuse can be reported, including, but not limited to, information
    10  regarding the statewide hotline as provided  for  in  paragraph  (a)  of
    11  subdivision  nine  of  section  four hundred seventy-three of the social
    12  services law, contact information  for  programs  offering  services  to
    13  victims of elder abuse such as counseling, and assistance with arranging
    14  personal care and shelter. Such campaign may include, but not be limited
    15  to: printed educational and informational materials; audio, video, elec-
    16  tronic, other media; and public service announcements or advertisements.
    17    § 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2019.
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