Protective Services Act
Under this act, the Chester County Department of Aging Services (CCDAS) is mandated to receive and investigate reports of suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation, and abandonment of incapacitated Chester County residents aged 60 and older and to provide activities, resources and supports to detect, prevent, reduce, and eliminate these conditions.
- CCDAS has established a 24-hour toll-free telephone number for reporting - 800-564-7000
- CCDAS shall have trained staff available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week to receive reports, to conduct investigations and provide case management
- Persons who report suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation, and abandonment shall be immune from civil and criminal liability under the laws of Pennsylvania (unless reporter acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose). All information is confidential.
- There are 2 main components of Protective Services:
- Intake - receipt and screening of reports: collection of information; determination of urgency for investigation; assignment to Protective Services investigator
- Investigation - generally will be initiated within 24 hours and must occur within 72 hours of receipt of report
- CCDAS shall have the authority to petition the Court of Common Pleas for:
- Access to records relevant to investigations, assessment, case plans and service delivery
- Access to persons who have been reported to be in need of Protective Services
- Permission to intervene when the older adult refuses Protective Services (and when there is clear and convincing evidence of imminent risk of death or serious physical harm if services are not provided)
- CCDAS may share relevant client records with law enforcement officials only if CCDAS's investigation results in a police investigation
- CCDAS may report suspected criminal conduct to police only when the protective worker directly witnesses such conduct or when the client (or court-appointed guardian) agrees to file a complaint