New legislation passed in Oregon this month amending sections of the law about vulnerable persons. Most of the changes to the law involve investigations by the Department of Human Services into reports of abuse and to establish policies and guidelines for standardization of resources and technologies related to investigations and sharing of information.
Under the new law, the Department is charged with creating a database, registry, or other electronic record of reports of abuse and investigations of abuse, and establishing standardized procedures and protocols for investigations of reports of abuse. The Department is required to promote and coordinate communication and information sharing with law enforcement agencies about reports and investigations of abuse. It will have to report to the Legislative Assembly on or before January 1, 2015, about implementation of its policies and guidelines.
The Department is also required to expand its existing criminal background check system with a regularly updated registry of all persons who work or are seeking work in long term or residential care facilities, adult foster homes, assisted living facilities, or as a home care worker. These facilities will be required to report information to be regulated by the Department for use in the registry that will be established. These changes to the law become effective January 1, 2015.
To assist in the Department’s efforts, the Oregon Elder Abuse Prevention Work Group (formerly the Oregon Elder Abuse Work Group) will study and make recommendations no later than December 31, 2014, on several matters, including:
- The criminal background-check system and its role in prevention and investigation of abuse of vulnerable persons.
- The process involved in conducting investigations of abuse of vulnerable persons;
- Vulnerable persons abuse data reporting systems; and
- Information that could be made available to the public regarding abuse of vulnerable persons and investigations of abuse of vulnerable persons.
backgroundchecks.com will monitor the Department’s roll out of its policies and guidelines affecting these facilities and home care workers, and will report again on those that relate to any new responsibilities of long term or residential care facilities, adult foster homes, assisted living facilities, and home care workers.
House Bill 4151 can be viewed here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2014R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4151