§ 15.13. Organization and structure of protective services functions.
(a) General organization. The area agency on aging may provide protective services directly or under a purchase of services contract with another provider agency. In either case, the area agency on aging is responsible for the compliance of protective services activities with this chapter. The area agency on aging shall assure that the agency meets the minimum standards of organization and structure set forth in this section.
(b) Protective services caseworkers.
(1) The agency shall designate as a protective services caseworker at least one caseworker who meets the minimum standards in § § 15.12115.127 (relating to staff training and experience standards).
(2) The agency shall assign protective services cases to designated protective services caseworkers by allocating the anticipated agency caseload in a manner consistent with the agencys plan for caseload distribution.
(3) The agencys plan for caseload distribution shall be described in the agencys protective services plan and shall include the following specific information:
(i) The rationale for the proposed caseload distribution.
(ii) How the subset of workers will be defined and selected, including an estimate of the anticipated caseload size to be assigned to each designated protective services caseworker.
(iii) How the cases within a designated protective services caseworkers caseload will be prioritized.
(iv) How that prioritization system will be maintained.
(v) How the agency will develop and maintain the necessary specialized expertise required to fulfill protective services responsibilities.
(4) A protective services caseworker may not serve as the area agency on aging ombudsman on the same case.
(5) The protective services caseload assigned to a protective services caseworker may not be planned to exceed 30 ongoing protective services cases.
(6) The case assignment system of the agency shall encourage the appropriate transfer of cases into and out of protective services caseloads as provided under § 15.96 (relating to termination of protective services).
(c) Other staff. The immediate supervisor of a protective services caseworker is required to be trained as set forth in § § 15.12115.127. An intake worker of the agency is permitted to discharge nonprotective service duties. An intake worker who receives a report of the need for protective services shall receive training as set forth in § § 15.12115.127.
(d) Conflict of interest. The area agency on aging shall describe in its protective services plan the steps it will take to avoid or minimize the potential of a conflict of interest between the investigative and service delivery functions in the protective services caseload. The description shall identify points in the organization and structure of protective services delivery where a potential conflict of interest may exist and explain the specific organizational responses which the area agency on aging will make to avoid or minimize that potential. The responses may include provisions for assuring some separation between the investigative and service delivery functions. The description shall also include proposed steps for addressing an actual conflict of interest if one arises. Nothing in this chapter constitutes an absolute bar to an area agency from delivering protective services and other area agency on aging services itself or through the same provider solely because of the potential existence of a conflict of interest.
(e) Depth of agency capacity. The agency shall require sufficient staff of all categories to be trained under § § 15.12115.127 to insure that routine staff absences will not compromise the agencys ability to fulfill its responsibilities under the act. Trained standby staff members shall be available to provide protective services as required, but are not required to be regularly assigned to protective services duties.
The provisions of this § 15.13 amended May 17, 2002, effective May 18, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 2412. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (228897) to (228899).
This section cited in 6 Pa. Code § 15.2 (relating to definitions); and 6 Pa. Code § 15.12 (relating to administrative functions and responsibilities of area agencies on aging).
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