Legislature Wants More Oversight Of Adult Protection Divison

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A lawsuit filed against the state last year focused scrutiny on the department that investigates cases of elder abuse.

But the governor says the Adult Protective Services program is well managed and doesn’t need increased oversight that the Legislature wants.

The screeners answering the phones at Adult Protective Services last year fielded more than 1,800 allegations of elder abuse.

But fewer than half were referred to investigators. And lawmakers say they want more information about the protocols being used to determine whether a complaint merits follow-up.

Legislation passed by the House directs the Department of Aging and Independent Living to submit a report next year detailing why cases weren’t investigated.

The House Health Care Committee says Vermont’s rate of cases that aren’t investigated is among the highest in the country.

The committee says it hasn’t been able to find out why.

But Gov. Peter Shumlin vetoed a similar bill last year and is still opposed.

He says adding new reporting requirements will only distract employees from their work with vulnerable clients.

Shumlin says his administration has added staff and resources, which have eliminated a backlog of complaints.

But lawmakers say they still need information and they stripped some of the mandates from the bill in the hope of winning the governor’s support.

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