Monday, May 07, 2007

Jonathan’s Law signed

EMPIRESTATENEWS.NET

AS I COMMENTED EARLIER...ELIOT WOULD SIGN THIS BILL.....THE TOUGHEST THING A PARENT OF A DISABLED CHILD HAS TO DO ...IS LET THEIR CHILD LIVE IN A GROUP HOME....ALWAYS WONDERING IF THEY ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING.........THIS LAW WILL ALLOW FOR BETTER PARENTAL SUPERVISION AND NOTIFICATION.........ANDY


Governor Eliot Spitzer Sunday signed “Jonathan’s Law,” which will provide parents and guardians better access to records and reports of incidents and abuse allegations involving their children in residential mental hygiene facilities.
Jonathan’s Law is named in honor of Jonathan Carey, a 13-year-old autistic boy who recently died while in the care of a state-run residential facility. Jonathan’s family has long championed this legislation after being refused full access to records and information related to his care and treatment.
Jonathan’s Law makes several important changes to state law. In particular, the new law will:
Require residential hygiene facilities to provide parents andguardians with telephone notification within 24 hours of incidentsaffecting the health and safety of their children;
Require such facilities to provide parents and guardians with aredacted incident report upon request;
Require facility directors to meet with parents and guardians todiscuss reported incidents;
Require facility directors to provide parents and guardians withwritten reports of actions taken in response to the incidents;
Grant parents and guardians full access to records and documentspertaining to allegations and investigations into patient abuse ormistreatment, with redaction of patient and staff names.
In addition, a Task Force on Mental Hygiene Records will be established to examine existing laws regarding records access concerning individuals receiving care in facilities licensed or operated by the Office of Mental Health and the Office of Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities. The task force will be comprised of representatives from state agencies, private providers, parents, advocates and others.
The bill will also increase penalties to $1,000 per day or a maximum of $15,000 per violation for facilities licensed by OMRDD that fail to comply with applicable rules and regulations.

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