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Go back to: Alaska statutes
Go back to: Title 47. Welfare, Social Services, and Institutions.
Go back to: Chapter 24. Protection of Vulnerable Adults.

Sec. 47.24.010. Persons required to report; reports of harm.
 (a) Except as provided in (e) of this section, the following persons who, in the performance of their professional duties, have reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult suffers from undue influence, abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or self-neglect shall, not later than 24 hours after first having cause for the belief, report the belief to the department’s vulnerable adult centralized intake office:
     (1) a physician or other licensed health care provider;

     (2) a mental health professional as defined in AS 47.30.915 and including a marital and family therapist licensed under AS 08.63;

     (3) a pharmacist;

     (4) an administrator or employee of a nursing home, residential care, or health care facility;

     (5) a guardian or conservator;

     (6) a police officer;

     (7) a village public safety officer;

     (8) a village health aide;

     (9) a social worker;

     (10) a member of the clergy;

     (11) a staff employee of a project funded by the Department of Administration for the provision of services to older Alaskans, the Department of Health and Social Services, or the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault;

     (12) an employee of a personal care or home health aide program;

     (13) an emergency medical technician or a mobile intensive care paramedic;

     (14) a caregiver of the vulnerable adult;

     (15) a certified nurse aide;

     (16) an educator or administrative staff member of a public or private educational institution.

 (b) A report made under this section may include the name and address of the reporting person and must include
     (1) the name and contact information of the vulnerable adult;

     (2) information relating to the nature and extent of the undue influence, abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or self-neglect;

     (3) other information that the reporting person believes might be helpful in an investigation of the case or in providing protection for the vulnerable adult.

 (c) The department or its designees shall report to the Department of Law any person required by (a) of this section to report who fails to comply with this section. A person listed in (a) of this section who, because of the circumstances, should have had reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult suffers from undue influence, abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or self-neglect but who knowingly fails to comply with this section is guilty of a class B misdemeanor. If a person convicted under this section is a member of a profession or occupation that is licensed, certified, or regulated by the state, the court shall notify the appropriate licensing, certifying, or regulating entity of the conviction.

 (d) This section does not prohibit a person listed in (a) of this section, or any other person, from reporting cases of undue influence, abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or self-neglect of a vulnerable adult that have come to the person’s attention in the person’s nonoccupational capacity. This section does not prohibit any other person from reporting a harm under this section.

 (e) If a person making a report under this section believes that immediate action is necessary to protect the vulnerable adult from imminent risk of serious physical harm due to undue influence, abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or self-neglect and the reporting person cannot immediately contact the department’s vulnerable adult centralized intake office, the reporting person shall make the report to a police officer or a village public safety officer. The police officer or village public safety officer shall take immediate action to protect the vulnerable adult and shall, within 24 hours after receiving the report of harm, notify the department. A person may not bring an action for damages against a police officer, a village public safety officer, the state, or a political subdivision of the state based on a decision under this subsection to take or not to take immediate action to protect a vulnerable adult. If a decision is made under this subsection to take immediate action to protect a vulnerable adult, a person may not bring an action for damages based on the protective actions taken unless the protective actions were performed with gross negligence or intentional misconduct; damages awarded in the action may include only direct economic compensatory damages for personal injury.

 (f) [Repealed, § 15, ch. 19, SLA 2017]
 (g) [Repealed, § 14 ch 129 SLA 1994.]
 (h) [Repealed, § 14 ch 129 SLA 1994.]
 (i) A person required to report under this section who makes the report to the person’s job supervisor or to another individual working for the entity that employs the person is not relieved of the obligation to make the report to the department as required under (a) of this section.

 (j) A person who recklessly makes a false report under this section is civilly liable for actual damages suffered by the person who is the subject of the report.

Other Sections in this Chapter: