(a) A mandatory reporter, as defined in this section, who has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that any elderly person has been abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned, or is in a condition that is the result of such abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, or is in need of protective services, shall, not later than seventy-two hours after such suspicion or belief arose, report such information or cause a report to be made in any reasonable manner to the Commissioner of Social Services or to the person or persons designated by the commissioner to receive such reports. The term “mandatory reporter” means (1) any physician or surgeon licensed under the provisions of chapter 370, 1 (2) any resident physician or intern in any hospital in this state, whether or not so licensed, (3) any registered nurse, (4) any nursing home administrator, nurse's aide or orderly in a nursing home facility or residential care home, (5) any person paid for caring for a resident in a nursing home facility or residential care home, (6) any staff person employed by a nursing home facility or residential care home, (7) any residents' advocate, other than a representative of the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, as defined in section 17a-405 , including the State Ombudsman, (8) any licensed practical nurse, medical examiner, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, social worker, clergyman, police officer, pharmacist, psychologist or physical therapist, (9) any person paid for caring for an elderly person by any institution, organization, agency or facility, including without limitation, any employee of a community-based services provider, senior center, home care agency, homemaker and companion agency, adult day care center, village-model community and congregate housing facility, and (10) any person licensed or certified as an emergency medical services provider pursuant to chapter 368d or chapter 384d, 2 including any such emergency medical services provider who is a member of a municipal fire department. Any mandatory reporter who fails to make such report within the prescribed time period shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, except that, if such person intentionally fails to make such report within the prescribed time period, such person shall be guilty of a class C misdemeanor for the first offense and a class A misdemeanor for any subsequent offense. Any institution, organization, agency or facility employing individuals to care for persons sixty years of age or older shall provide mandatory training on detecting potential abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment of such persons and inform such employees of their obligations under this section. For purposes of this subsection, “person paid for caring for an elderly person by any institution, organization, agency or facility” includes an employee of a community-based services provider, senior center, home health care agency, homemaker and companion agency, adult day care center, village-model community and congregate housing facility.
(b) Such report shall contain the name and address of the involved elderly person, information regarding the nature and extent of the abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, and any other information which the reporter believes might be helpful in an investigation of the case and the protection of such elderly person.
(c) Any other person having reasonable cause to suspect or believe that an elderly person is being, or has been, abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned, or who is in need of protective services, may report such information in any reasonable manner to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee.
(d) (1) Subject to subdivision (2) of this subsection, any person who makes any report pursuant to sections 17b-450 to 17b-461 , inclusive, or who testifies in any administrative or judicial proceeding arising from such report shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability on account of such report or testimony, except for liability for perjury.
(2) Any person who makes any report pursuant to sections 17b-450 to 17b-461 , inclusive, is guilty of making a fraudulent or malicious report or providing false testimony when such person (A) wilfully makes a fraudulent or malicious report to the commissioner pursuant to the provisions of this section, (B) conspires with another person to make or cause to be made such report, or (C) wilfully testifies falsely in any administrative or judicial proceeding arising from such report as to the abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of, or need of protective services for, an elderly person. Making a fraudulent or malicious report or providing false testimony is a class A misdemeanor.
(e) Any person who is discharged or in any manner discriminated or retaliated against for making, in good faith, a report pursuant to this section shall be entitled to all remedies available under law including, but not limited to, remedies available under sections 19a-532 and 31-51m , as applicable.
(f) For the purposes of sections 17b-450 to 17b-461 , inclusive, the treatment of any elderly person by a Christian Science practitioner, in lieu of treatment by a licensed practitioner of the healing arts, or the refusal of treatment by an elderly person for religious reasons shall not of itself constitute grounds for the implementation of protective services.
(g) The Commissioner of Social Services shall develop an educational training program to promote and encourage the accurate and prompt identification and reporting of abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment of elderly persons. Such training program shall be made available on the Internet web site of the Department of Social Services to mandated reporters and other interested persons. The commissioner shall also make such training available in person or otherwise at various times and locations throughout the state as determined by the commissioner.
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