§ 15.12. Administrative functions and responsibilities of area agencies on aging.
(a) General responsibilities. An area agency on aging shall administer the delivery of protective services under this chapter in its planning and service area. The functions and responsibilities of the area agency on aging in administering protective services include the following:
(1) The development and submission of a protective services plan under subsection (b).
(2) The oversight of the delivery of protective services for older adults, either directly or purchased under contract with another agency, in compliance with the area agencys approved protective services plan, this chapter and other applicable State and Federal regulations or statutes. The plan shall assure that the agency will provide for the receipt of reports of need for protective services, the conduct of investigations of reports, the assessment of need and the development of service plans throughout the period covered by the plan. The plan shall also describe sources for specific services that may be required by older adults who have been assessed as needing them, and policies pertaining to arranging for specific services if and when needs for specific services exceed supply.
(3) The coordination of the protective services related activities of local agencies and organizations having substantial contact with potential victims or perpetrators of abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment. These agencies and organizations include the following:
(i) Local domestic violence agencies.
(ii) County assistance offices.
(iii) Local mental health/mental retardation programs.
(iv) County offices of children and youth.
(v) Law enforcement agencies.
(vi) Legal services agencies.
(vii) Emergency medical service agencies, hospital emergency rooms and social services staff.
(viii) Home health agencies.
(ix) Drug and alcohol prevention and treatment organizations.
(x) Clergy associations and councils of churches.
(4) The local extension of the Departments ongoing campaign of public information and education about the need for, and availability of, protective services for older adults.
(5) The collection and submission to the Department of data on protective services activities. The data shall be recorded and reports submitted as required by the Department. At a minimum, the following information shall be included:
(i) The number of substantiated and unsubstantiated reports.
(ii) The number of reports made in various categories of need for protective services, such as physical abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, abandonment and the like.
(iii) The demographic information on persons reported to be in need of protective services and on alleged perpetrators of abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment.
(iv) The origins of reports.
(v) The remedies and referrals.
(b) Protective services plan. The area agency on aging shall submit, on an annual basis, its protective services plan to the Department. The protective services plan shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:
(1) An explanation of the organizational structure and staffing of the area agencys protective services functions, including provisions for purchasing these services if applicable. For the purpose of advising the agency on medically related issues encountered during assessment and the development of service plans, the organizational structure shall include the consultation services of a registered nurse or physician licensed to practice in this Commonwealth.
(2) An explanation of how the area agencys organizational structure and staffing of protective services will prevent a conflict of interest between the investigation of reports received under this chapter and the area agencys service delivery functions. The explanation shall include assurances that the minimum criteria required under § 15.13 (relating to organization and structure of protective services functions) will be met.
(3) A description of the local process for delivering protective services to older adults who need them, including the 24-hour capability to receive reports, the investigation of reports and the necessary actions arising from investigations. The description shall focus on the specific local methodology to be implemented in activities for which this chapter allows for local differences and flexibility. The description of the plan for investigating reports shall include an explanation of steps to be taken to assure the standby capability required under § 15.41(c) (relating to reports required to be investigated). The description of the plan for seeking emergency court orders shall include the agencys identification of the providers of legal assistance who may be notified under § 15.71(b) (relating to involuntary intervention by emergency court order) when the agency petitions the court for emergency involuntary intervention.
(4) A description of local funding for protective services which has, at the discretion of a county or local agency, been placed under the administrative control of the area agency on aging. There is no requirement by the Department that the area agency on aging obtain local funding for its protective services plan budget.
(5) Documentation of applicable interagency relations, interagency agreements, service referral mechanisms and the locus of responsibility for cases with multi-service needs. The documentation shall include assurances that the area agency on aging has taken steps to avoid unnecessary duplication of existing efforts by other agencies which may carry responsibilities for some protective services activities.
(6) A description of local methods to be used to assure the privacy and confidentiality of older adults receiving protective services as required under § § 15.10115.105 (relating to confidentiality).
(7) A list of the entities, public and private, identified by the area agency on aging as having substantial contact with potential victims or perpetrators of abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment.
(c) Public awareness. The area agency on aging shall conduct within its planning and service area an ongoing campaign designed to inform and educate older adults, professionals and the general public about the need for and availability of protective services under this chapter. This ongoing campaign shall utilize materials and methodology developed by the Department and supplemented by the area agency with relevant information on the local protective services system. Special emphasis shall be placed on informing the community on how to make reports and request services.
(d) Department approval required. An area agency on aging, which has not received the Departments approval for its protective services plan may not provide services under this chapter.
The provisions of this § 15.12 amended May 17, 2002, effective May 18, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 2412. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (228894) to (228897).
This section cited in 6 Pa. Code § 15.11 (relating to administrative functions and responsibilities of the Department); 6 Pa. Code § 15.102 (relating to maintenance of case files); and 6 Pa. Code § 15.112 (relating to uses of funding authorized by the act).
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