Requires the office of children and family services to track and report elder abuse and to issue a biennial report to the governor and legislature regarding the incidence of elder abuse in the state.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to the tracking and reporting of elder abuse; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Authorizes the Office of Children and Family Services, in cooperation with the Office of the Aging, to track and report on the incidence of elder abuse.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends Social Services Law section 473 to:
A) Authorize the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), in cooperation with the Office of the Aging, to collect data on elder abuse and neglect that may be occurring in New York from state and local agencies, such as the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), the Office for the Prevention of Domestic violence, and the Department of Health to identify the incidence of elder abuse;
B) Authorizes OCFS to begin to establish an inter-agency reporting system that contains a uniform set of standards to collect and analyze information on the incidence of elder abuse; and
C) Requires the OCFS, in cooperation with the Office of the Aging, to prepare a report to outline it's recommendations for defining the term "elder abuse" in statute, the types of reporting requirements that should be instituted to prevent the incidence of elder abuse, the actual incidence of elder abuse in New York and those programs available to prevent elder abuse and provide services to such victims.
JUSTIFICATION: It has been said that a society's greatness is measured by the manner in which it treats its most vulnerable members. One of our most at-risk members of society are the elderly who need assistance to perform simple tasks such as moving around, eating, bathing, and conducting financial transactions. Thankfully, there are many members in our community who have devoted their lives to helping these semi-dependent to dependent senior citizens- nursing home workers, home health care aides, family members and friends. These caretakers provide an invaluable service to seniors-in-need and society-at-large. Further, these services are becoming more important as the elderly population grows.
When dependent seniors become victims of physical or psychological abuse, or are neglected or taken advantage of financially by their caretakers, more than a trust has been broken; an abhorrent act has occurred that violates our society's sense of decency. Yet we have been slow to give elder abuse the attention that it rightfully deserves. While awareness of elder abuse has risen in recent years, there is much we can do in New York to gain a better understanding of the issue, increase prevention, and provide needed services to victims.
Currently, there are no absolute definition of what constitutes "elder abuse" in New York statute nor sufficient statistics on the incidence of elder abuse in New York State. Public and private agencies and not-for-profit organizations that provide services to elder abuse victims do not always keep information to accurately track affected elderly persons. Other governmental entities possess data on abuse and neglect, but currently do not distinguish between elder abuse and those actions of abuse to others in the adult population. Across agencies, there is a lack of coordination and collaboration to determine the exact frequency of elder abuse in New York.
At least 15,000 cases of elder abuse were reporting in 2007 to Adult Protective Services alone, the primary agency tracking elder abuse. Actual figures may be much higher, as the National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that for every reported case of elder abuse, another five may go unreported. This bill authorizes OCFS, which Adult Protective Services is part of, to establish a uniform set of standards to collect and analyze information for various state and local agencies. By identifying the extent of the problem, the State of New York can take an important first step towards ensuring that all of our seniors live their golden years in dignity and security.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12 - S.1040-A, Referred to Aging, 2009-10 -S.5376 - Referred to Aging; Passed Senate 2009 and 2010
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding in the date on which it shall have become a law, and shall expire and be deemed repealed January 1, 2018.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2323 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 16, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. KLEIN, ADAMS, GRISANTI, KENNEDY, MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to the tracking and reporting of elder abuse; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 6 and 7 of section 473 of the social services law are renumbered subdivisions 7 and 8 and a new subdivision 6 is added to read as follows: 6. (A) THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO IN THIS SECTION AS THE "OFFICE") SHALL, IN COOPERATION WITH THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING, COLLECT DATA ON ELDER ABUSE POSSESSED BY STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE DIVISION OF CRIMI- NAL JUSTICE SERVICES, THE DEPARTMENT OF LAW, THE OFFICE FOR THE PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, FOR THE PURPOSE OF IDENTIFYING THE INCIDENCE OF ELDER ABUSE AMONG THE ELDERLY. THE OFFICE SHALL CREATE INTERAGENCY REPORTING SYSTEMS THAT CONTAIN A UNIFORM SET OF STANDARDS TO COLLECT AND ANALYZE SUCH DATA. FURTHERMORE, THE OFFICE, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING, SHALL ESTAB- LISH A DEFINITION FOR ELDER ABUSE AND THE MINIMUM AGE OF AN ELDERLY PERSON, THAT ENABLES THE OFFICE TO ACCURATELY COMPARE SIMILAR DATA FROM DIFFERENT STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVI- SION, THE OFFICE AND THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING, IN ESTABLISHING THE DEFI- NITION OF ELDER ABUSE, MAY INCORPORATE THE TYPES OF PHYSICAL, SEXUAL AND EMOTIONAL ABUSE, ACTIVE AND PASSIVE NEGLECT, AND FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF THIS SECTION. (B) COUNTY AND CITY SOCIAL SERVICES AGENCIES, ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES UNITS AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES FOR ADULTS UNITS SHALL REPORT INCIDENCES OF ELDER ABUSE, AS DEFINED BY THE OFFICE, TO THE OFFICE INEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02630-01-3 S. 2323 2
THE FORMAT SPECIFIED BY SUCH OFFICE AND INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE NUMBER OF REFERRALS, INVESTIGATIONS, SUBSTANTIATED CASES, AND DEMO- GRAPHIC INFORMATION ON VICTIMS AND PERPETRATORS. (C) THE OFFICE SHALL, IN COOPERATION WITH THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING, ISSUE A REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE AND THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE ASSEMBLY, ON OR BEFORE MARCH FIRST IN ODD NUMBERED YEARS. SUCH REPORT SHALL OUTLINE ITS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DEFIN- ING THE TERM "ELDER ABUSE" IN STATUTE, THE TYPES OF REPORTING REQUIRE- MENTS THAT SHOULD BE INSTITUTED TO PREVENT THE INCIDENCE OF ELDER ABUSE, AND THE PROGRAMS AVAILABLE TO PREVENT ELDER ABUSE AND TO PROVIDE SERVICES TO VICTIMS OF ELDER ABUSE. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law, and shall expire and be deemed repealed January 1, 2018.