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Audit finds OPWDD not following Jonathan's Law

Nov 19, 2019 1:00 pm
Cayla Harris is reporting for the Times Union an audit released November 18 found that facilities run by the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities has compliance issues. Just four months ago, a similar audit by the state comptroller's office determined that another state agency, the Office of Mental Health, was also failing to properly notify family members of abuse and neglect at the facilities it manages. The audit released this week reported the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities has failed to enact policies to ensure its facilities are in compliance with Jonathan's Law, enacted in 2007. That law increases families' ability to access records related to incidents of abuse or neglect, and it also requires centers to disclose those incidents to family members within 24 hours after they are reported. Auditors found that in 11 percent of the incidents reviewed, the agency could not provide evidence that they notified family members or guardians within 24 hours of the event. In a similar review of facilities operated by the Office of Mental Health, documentation could not be provided in 20 percent of the incidents reviewed, all of which involved children. State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said, “Jonathan’s Law was created to make sure incidents of abuse and neglect are properly addressed and families are told of what occurred. This law can’t work if state agencies aren’t fully complying with the law’s requirements. This is the second state agency my auditors have found that is failing to meet their obligations.” Read the full story in the Times Union.
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