Assembly Member Cheryl R. Brown (D - San Bernardino) introduced the “Excluded Persons Administrative Action List,” or ‘EPAAL’ legislation on Friday 27 February 2015. AB 1122 as it is now known, will require the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (DSS/CCL) to publish on its website a list of all persons who have been excluded from owning, operating and/or working inside any licensed care facility as a result of an Administrative Law proceeding.
AB 1122 will provide convenient online access to EPAAL, allowing assisted living residents, consumers and service providers to assure the caregivers and staff they hire have no prior history of behaviors which endangered the health or safety of an elder.
There is no mandatory requirement for DSS/CCL to refer elder neglect, abuse or other egregious behaviors perpetrated against seniors residing in assisted living facilities to outside law enforcement, therefore few crimes perpetrated against elders in licensed care facilities are ever prosecuted. Instead, through Administrative Law proceedings, DSS/CCL can permanently or temporarily prohibit a person from working in a licensed care facility. Yet, because the individual was never brought to justice through the criminal court system, the administrative sanction does not appear in criminal background checks. This makes continued access to vulnerable populations easy and significantly elevates the need for DSS/CCL to publish its list of excluded persons and related administrative actions.
Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division (DSS/CCLD) launched its new centralized complaint hotline this past week. The hotline's objective is to streamline the complaint process for consumers, and to assure information about complaints is consistently collected across all complaint report types. Once a complaint is filed through the central call office, it is reviewed by a field-seasoned CCL inspector; within a few hours after the complaint has been reported, it is directed to the appropriate regional field office for investigation. Once in the regional office, the agency must initiate its investigation within the 10-day regulatory time frame.
The 8-4-4 number is toll free, so there is now one less impediment to filing a complaint - you don't have to pay for the call. If its easier to email a complaint, the CCLD's new poster gives you the address: LetUsNo@dss.ca.gov. CARR encourages all family members, visitors in assisted living facilities, and reminds all mandated reporters to immediately report any event or circumstance endangering the health and safety of residents of assisted living facilities. As the poster says. . . If you SEE something, SAY something.
Out of 30 nominations nationwide, CARR and Sacramento Bee investigative reporter, Charles Pillar, were selected as this year's FAC's Free Speech & Open Government Awardees.
This was the first year the First Amendment Coalition selected a 501(c) 3 advocacy organization for the award. Traditionally, the award is given to journalists recognizing their work in promoting government transparency for the public good. CARR was selected unanimously for "demonstrating the effectiveness of advocacy using government data and the internet". CARR is pleased to have its work recognized by this award-winning organization and to be so closely affiliated with others "dedicated to advancing free speech, more open and accountable government and public participation in civic affairs".