CHAPTER 9. HUMAN SERVICES.

§9-6-2. Adult protective services; immunity from civil liability; rules; organization and duties.

(a) There is continued within the Department of Health and Human Resources the system of adult protective services.

(b) The secretary shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code regarding the organization and duties of the adult protective services system and the procedures to be used by the department to effectuate the purposes of this article. The rules may be amended and supplemented from time to time.

(c) The secretary shall design and arrange such rules to attain, or move toward the attainment of, the following goals to the extent that the secretary believes feasible under the provisions of this article within the state appropriations and other funds available:

(1) Assisting vulnerable adults who are abused, neglected, or financially exploited in achieving or maintaining self-sufficiency and self-support and preventing, reducing, and eliminating their dependency on the state;

(2) Preventing, reducing, and eliminating neglect, financial exploitation, and abuse of adults who are unable to protect their own interests;

(3) Preventing and reducing institutional care of adults by providing less intensive forms of care, preferably in the home;

(4) Referring and admitting abused, neglected, or financially exploited vulnerable adults to institutional care only where other available services are inappropriate;

(5) Providing services and monitoring to adults in institutions designed to assist adults in returning to community settings;

(6) Preventing, reducing, and eliminating the exploitation of vulnerable adults and facility residents through the joint efforts of the various agencies of the Department of Health and Human Resources, the adult protective services system, the state and regional long-term care ombudsmen, administrators of nursing homes or other residential facilities, and county prosecutors;

(7) Preventing, reducing, and eliminating abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of residents in nursing homes or facilities; and

(8) Coordinating investigation activities for complaints of financial exploitation, abuse, and neglect of vulnerable adults and facility residents among the various agencies of the Department of Health and Human Resources, the adult protective services system, the state and regional long-term care ombudsmen, administrators of nursing homes or other residential facilities, county prosecutors, if necessary, and other state or federal agencies or officials, as appropriate.

(d) An adult protective services caseworker may not be held personally liable for any professional decision or action arrived at in the performance of his or her official duties as set forth in this section or agency rules promulgated: Provided, That nothing in this subsection protects any adult protective services worker from any liability arising from the operation of a motor vehicle or for any loss caused by willful and wanton misconduct or intentional misconduct.

(e) The rules proposed by the secretary shall provide for the means by which the department shall cooperate with federal, state, and other agencies to fulfill the objectives of the system of adult protective services.

§9-6-2. Adult protective services; immunity from civil liability; rules; organization and duties.