SENATE BILL 5184
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2001 Regular Session
By Senators Thibaudeau, Winsley, Costa and Kohl‑Welles; by request of Department of Social and Health Services
Read first time 01/15/2001. Referred to Committee on Health & Long‑Term Care.
AN ACT Relating to requiring the department of social and health services to notify relevant agencies of investigative outcomes; adding a new section to chapter 74.34 RCW; and creating a new section.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature recognizes that vulnerable adults, while living in their own homes, may be abused, neglected, financially exploited, or abandoned by individuals entrusted to provide care for them. The individuals who abuse, neglect, financially exploit, or abandon vulnerable adults may be employed by, under contract with, or volunteering for an agency or program providing care for vulnerable adults. The legislature has given the department of social and health services the responsibility to investigate complaints of abandonment, abuse, financial exploitation, or neglect of vulnerable adults and to provide protective services and other legal remedies to protect these vulnerable adults. The legislature finds that in order to continue to protect vulnerable adults, the department of social and health services be given the authority to release report information and to release the results of an investigation to the agency or program with which the individual investigated is employed, contracted, or engaged as a volunteer.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 74.34 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Before the investigation is complete, if the department determines that the vulnerable adult is at risk of further abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or abandonment, or other vulnerable adults are at risk, the department may provide to an agency or program described in this subsection the substance of a report alleging abuse, abandonment, financial exploitation, or neglect of a vulnerable adult by an individual employed by, under contract with, or volunteering for such agency or program. Agencies or programs that may be provided this report are home health, hospice, or home care agencies licensed under chapter 70.127 RCW, a program authorized under chapter 71A.12 RCW, an adult day care or day health programs, or other agencies, not including facilities. The report provided to the agency or program may contain the name of the vulnerable adult and the alleged perpetrator of the abuse, abandonment, financial exploitation, or neglect. The report shall not disclose the identity of the person who made the report or any witness without written permission of the reporter or witness.
(2) After the investigation is complete, the department may provide a written report of the outcome of the investigation to the agency or program referenced in subsection (1) of this section when a report was made under subsection (1) of this section or when the department determines from its investigation that an incident of abuse, abandonment, financial exploitation, or neglect occurred. The report may contain the name of the vulnerable adult and the alleged perpetrator. The report shall not disclose the identity of the person who made the report or any witness without the written permission of the reporter or witness.
(3) The department may also refer a report or outcome of an investigation to appropriate state or local governmental authorities responsible for licensing or certification of the agencies or programs listed in subsection (1) of this section.
(4) The department shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section.
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