“Other like incapacities" means those conditions incurred at any age which are the result of accident, organic brain damage, mental or physical disability or continued consumption or absorption of substances, producing a condition which substantially impairs an individual from adequately providing for his or her care or custody.
“Protective placement" means a placement that is made to provide for the care and custody of an individual.
“Protective placement facility" means a facility to which a court may under s. 55.12
order an individual to be provided protective placement for the primary purpose of residential care and custody.
“Protective placement unit" means a ward, wing, or other designated part of a protective placement facility.
“Protective services" includes any of the following:
Identification of individuals in need of services.
Any services that, when provided to an individual with developmental disabilities, degenerative brain disorder, serious and persistent mental illness, or other like incapacity, keep the individual safe from abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, or self-neglect or prevent the individual from experiencing deterioration or from inflicting harm on himself or herself or another person.
“Psychotropic medication" means a prescription drug, as defined in s. 450.01 (20)
, that is used to treat or manage a psychiatric symptom or challenging behavior.
“Residence" means the voluntary concurrence of an individual's physical presence with his or her intent to remain in a place of fixed habitation. Physical presence is prima facie evidence of intent to remain.
“Serious and persistent mental illness" means a mental illness that is severe in degree and persistent in duration, that causes a substantially diminished level of functioning in the primary aspects of daily living and an inability to cope with the ordinary demands of life, that may lead to an inability to maintain stable adjustment and independent functioning without long-term treatment and support, and that may be of lifelong duration. “Serious and persistent mental illness" includes schizophrenia as well as a wide spectrum of psychotic and other severely disabling psychiatric diagnostic categories, but does not include degenerative brain disorder or a primary diagnosis of a developmental disability or of alcohol or drug dependence.
“Voluntary" means according to an individual's free choice, if competent, or by choice of a guardian, if adjudicated incompetent.
See also s. 46.011
for definitions applicable to chs. 46
The guardian ad litem is an interested person. A guardian ad litem appointed by the circuit court to represent the ward's best interest becomes an official of a public agency concerned with the person's welfare by virtue of that appointment and falls within the definition of “interested person" in the protective placement system of ch. 55. Linda L. v. Collis, 2006 WI App 105
, 294 Wis. 2d 637
, 718 N.W.2d 205
Alzheimer's disease is one type of a degenerative brain disorder. Chapter 51 includes the definition of degenerative brain disorder only to specifically exclude it from the chapter's authority, whereas the ch. 55 definition is used to include it in the scope of authority granted under ch. 55. Rehabilitation is a necessary element of treatment under ch. 51. Because there are no techniques that can be employed to bring about rehabilitation from Alzheimer's disease, an individual with the disease cannot be rehabilitated. Accordingly, an Alzheimer's patient is not a proper subject for ch. 51 treatment. Fond du Lac County v. Helen E. F. 2011 WI App 72
, 333 Wis. 2d 740
, 798 N.W.2d 707
Protective services and protective placement: duties. 55.02(1)(a)(a)
The department shall do all of the following:
Cooperate with county departments to develop and operate a coordinated, statewide system for protective services and protective placement. The protective services and protective placement system shall be designed to encourage independent living and to avoid protective placement whenever possible.
Monitor and supervise the implementation and operation of the protective services and protective placement system.
Provide technical assistance to county departments providing protective services and protective placement.
Evaluate the protective services and protective placement system.
The department may provide protective services and protective placement directly or contract for the provision of protective services or protective placement.
The chairperson of each county board of supervisors shall designate a county department under s. 46.215
, or 51.437
that is providing services in the county on its own or through a joint mechanism with another county department or county to have the responsibility for planning for the provision of protective services and protective placement and for directly providing protective services, protective placement, or both, or entering into a contract under s. 46.036
with a responsible agency for the provision of protective services, protective placement, or both.
In addition to the responsibilities specified in par. (a)
, the county department shall:
Monitor and evaluate protective services and protective placements.
Prepare and submit reports required by the department, or by a court if protective services or protective placement are ordered by a court.
Develop requirements for submittal by guardians of the person of reports to the county department under s. 54.25 (1) (a)
Designate at least one appropriate medical facility or protective placement facility as an intake facility for the purpose of emergency protective placements under s. 55.135
(3) Corporation counsel.
The corporation counsel of the county in which the petition is brought may or, if requested by the court, shall assist in conducting proceedings under this chapter.
Status of guardian. 55.03(1)(1)
Agency as both guardian and provider prohibited.
No agency acting as a guardian appointed under s. 48.9795
, ch. 54
, 2017 stats., or ch. 880
, 2003 stats., may be a provider of protective services or protective placement for its ward under this chapter.
Effective date note
Sub. (1) is shown as amended eff. 8-1-20 by 2019 Wis. Act 109
. Prior to 8-1-20 it reads:
Effective date text
(1) Agency as both guardian and provider prohibited. No agency acting as a guardian appointed under ch. 880, 2003 stats., or ch. 54 may be a provider of protective services or protective placement for its ward under this chapter.
(2) Transfer of guardianship and legal custody.
Nothing in this chapter may be construed to prohibit the transfer of guardianship and legal custody under s. 48.427
or s. 48.43
(3) Guardian authority and responsibility applicable to parent of minor.
Where any responsibility or authority is created under this chapter upon or in relation to a guardian, the responsibility or authority is deemed to apply to a parent or person in the place of a parent in the case of a minor who is or who is alleged to have a developmental disability.
(4) Guardian authority for making protective placement.
No guardian or temporary guardian may make a permanent protective placement of his or her ward unless ordered by a court under s. 55.12
, but a guardian or temporary guardian may admit a ward to certain residential facilities under s. 55.055
or make an emergency protective placement under s. 55.135
Adult-at-risk agency. 55.043(1d)(1d)
Adult-at-risk agency designation.
Each county board shall designate an agency as the adult-at-risk agency for the purposes of this section.
Each adult-at-risk agency shall develop a policy for notifying other investigative agencies, including law enforcement officials in appropriate cases, and shall establish an adult-at-risk abuse reporting system to carry out the purposes of this section. Each adult-at-risk agency shall enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding the operation of the system with the county department under s. 46.215
and with any private or public agency, including a county department under s. 51.42
, within the county that is participating in the adult-at-risk abuse reporting system. The memorandum of understanding shall, at a minimum, identify the agencies that are responsible for the investigation of reports of abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, or self-neglect of adults at risk and for the provision of specific direct services.
Each adult-at-risk agency shall receive reports of abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, or self-neglect of adults at risk.
Each adult-at-risk agency shall publicize the existence of an adult-at-risk abuse reporting system in the county and shall provide a publicized telephone number that can be used by persons wishing to report suspected cases of abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, or self-neglect of adults at risk. Each adult-at-risk agency shall also provide a telephone number that can be used by persons to make reports after the adult-at-risk agency's regular business hours.
The following persons shall file reports as specified in par. (b)
An employee of any entity that is licensed, certified, or approved by or registered with the department.
A social worker, professional counselor, or marriage and family therapist certified under ch. 457
Except as provided in par. (be)
, a person specified in par. (a)
who has seen an adult at risk in the course of the person's professional duties shall file a report with the county department, the adult-at-risk agency, a state or local law enforcement agency, the department, or the board on aging and long-term care if the adult at risk has requested the person to make the report, or if the person has reasonable cause to believe that any of the following situations exist:
The adult at risk is at imminent risk of serious bodily harm, death, sexual assault, or significant property loss and is unable to make an informed judgment about whether to report the risk.
An adult at risk other than the subject of the report is at risk of serious bodily harm, death, sexual assault, or significant property loss inflicted by a suspected perpetrator.
A person specified in par. (a)
to whom any of the following applies is not required to file a report as provided in par. (b)
If the person believes that filing a report would not be in the best interest of the adult at risk. If the person so believes, the person shall document the reasons for this belief in the case file that the person maintains on the adult at risk.
If a health care provider provides treatment by spiritual means through prayer for healing in lieu of medical care in accordance with his or her religious tradition and his or her communications with patients are required by his or her religious denomination to be held confidential.
Any person, including an attorney or a person working under the supervision of an attorney, may report to the county department, adult-at-risk agency, a state or local law enforcement agency, the department, or the board on aging and long-term care that he or she believes that abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, or self-neglect of an adult at risk has occurred if the person is aware of facts or circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe or suspect that abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, or self-neglect of an adult at risk has occurred. The person shall indicate the facts and circumstances of the situation as part of the report.
No person may discharge or otherwise retaliate or discriminate against any person for reporting in good faith under this subsection.
No person may discharge or otherwise retaliate or discriminate against any individual on whose behalf another person has reported in good faith under this subsection.
Any discharge of a person or act of retaliation or discrimination that is taken against a person who makes a report under this subsection, within 120 days after the report is made, establishes a rebuttable presumption that the discharge or act is made in response to the report. This presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of evidence that the discharge or act was not made in response to the report.
Any employee of an employer who is discharged or otherwise discriminated against may file a complaint with the department of workforce development under s. 106.54 (5)
Any person not described in subd. 2. b.
who is retaliated or discriminated against in violation of subd. 1. a.
may commence an action in circuit court for damages incurred as a result of the violation.
No person may be held civilly or criminally liable or be found guilty of unprofessional conduct for reporting in good faith under this subsection, or for filing a report with an agency not listed in par. (b) (intro.)
if the person had a good faith belief that the report was filed correctly with one of the listed agencies.
If a report under par. (b)
is made to a state official, the state official shall refer the report to the appropriate adult-at-risk agency. The requirement under this paragraph does not apply to an employee of the board on aging and long-term care who determines that his or her referral would be in violation of 42 USC 3058g
Any person making a report under this subsection is presumed to have reported in good faith.
Except as otherwise provided, if an adult-at-risk agency has reason to believe that an adult at risk has been the subject of abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, or self-neglect, the adult-at-risk agency may respond, including by conducting an investigation, to determine whether the adult at risk is in need of protective services. If an adult-at-risk agency has reason to believe that there is abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, or self-neglect of an adult at risk who is a client, as defined in s. 50.065 (1) (b)
, of an entity, as defined in s. 50.065 (1) (c)
, and if the person suspected of perpetrating the alleged abuse, financial exploitation, or neglect is a caregiver or nonclient resident of the entity, the adult-at-risk agency shall refer the report within 24 hours after the report is received to the department for investigation. The department shall coordinate its investigatory efforts with other investigative agencies or authorities as appropriate. An adult-at-risk agency's response to or another investigative agency's investigation of a report of abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, or self-neglect that is not referred to the department shall be commenced within 24 hours after a report is received, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.
If an agent or employee of an adult-at-risk agency required to refer under this subsection is the subject of a report, or if the adult-at-risk agency or an agency under contract with the county department determines that the relationship between the adult-at-risk agency and the agency under contract with the county department would not allow for an unbiased response, the adult-at-risk agency shall, after taking any action necessary to protect the adult at risk, notify the department. Upon receipt of the notice, the department or a county department under s. 46.215
, or 51.437
designated by the department shall conduct an independent investigation. The powers and duties of a county department making the independent investigation are those given to an adult-at-risk agency under pars. (b)
and sub. (6)
The adult-at-risk agency's response or another investigative agency's investigation may include one or more of the following: