OPA: Abuse Investigation Division

Protecting the Rights of Citizens
 with Intellectual Disabilities
About our Abuse Investigation Division - (AID)
The Abuse Investigation Division is operated by the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities.  The Division was established to implement C.G.S. 46a-11a, which became effective February 1, 1985. 
The purpose of the law is to protect adults (ages 18-59) who have intellectual disabilities, as defined by C.G.S. 1-1g, from abuse and neglect wherever it may occur. 
About the Office of Protection & Advocacy
The Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities is an independent state agency established in 1977 to advocate for, and protect the rights of, individuals with all disabilities.  The Office operates pursuant
to both Federal and State statutory mandates.
Who is mandated to report abuse or neglect of persons with intellectual disabilities?
Physicians, osteopaths, optometrists, chiropractors; nurses (LPNs and RNs), clergy persons, sexual assault counselors; school teachers, guidance counselors, principals; speech pathologists, physical and occupational therapists; police officers; medical examiners, dentists and dental hygienists; psychologists, social workers, and mental health professional; and, any person paid for caring for persons in any facility serving persons with intellectual disabilities.
Can private citizens also report suspected abuse and neglect?
Yes.  A separate section of the law permits   any person who has reasonable cause to believe that a person with an intellectual disability is being abused or neglected to make a report to the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities. Anyone reporting to AID may request anonymity.
Do those mandated to report incur liability?
No.  Any person, institution or agency reporting a suspected case of abuse or neglect in good faith is immune from any civil or criminal liability.
Is there a penalty for not reporting?
Yes.  Mandated reporters who fail to report suspected abuse or neglect may be fined up to $500.00.
What must be reported?     
Suspected or known abuse or neglect of adult persons with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 18 and 59 inclusive, must be reported to the Office of Protection and Advocacy, Abuse Investigation Division.
What is abuse?
"Abuse" is defined as the willful infliction of physical pain or injury by a caretaker or the willful deprivation by a caretaker of services which are necessary to the person's health or safety.
What is neglect?
 "Neglect" is defined as a situation where a person with an intellectual disability is not able to provide for his/herself the services which are necessary to maintain his/her physical and mental health or is not receiving such services from the caretaker.
What is the reporting procedure?
1.   An oral report must be made as soon as possible, within five (5) calendar days to the Office of Protection and Advocacy, Abuse Investigation Division. Staff are available to receive reports Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

2.   A written report on a form supplied by P&A, must follow within five (5) additional days of the oral report.
What happens to the person with intellectual disabilities after I report the alleged abuse?
If the Abuse Investigation Division staff finds that a person with an intellectual disability has been abused or neglected, and/or is in need of protective services, a referral is made to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) which develops a plan for protective services and provides those services for the individual.

A plan for protective services identifies any services required to protect the health or safety of the person with intellectual disability. This may include anything from counseling to relocating a person to a safer environment. State or local police involvement is requested if necessary.
How will I know that the person with an intellectual disability I believe was neglected or abused has been helped?
If you wish to be notified, the staff will contact you regarding the resolution of the situation.
Remember . . .
People with intellectual disabilities have the same rights as all citizens to live free from harm.  Your prompt response to suspected abuse or neglect will guarantee that right.
The Abuse Investigation Division can be reached at:
State of Connecticut
Office of Protection and Advocacy
for Persons with Disabilities
60-B Weston Street
Hartford, CT 06120-1551
or call Hartford area:
(860) 297-4355
(860) 297-4380 (TTY)
All other areas:
1-800-842-7303 (toll-free)

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Content Last Modified on 12/5/2012 10:47:30 AM