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CHAPTER 55
PROTECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM
55.001 Declaration of policy.
55.01 Definitions.
55.02 Protective service system; establishment.
55.03 Status of guardian.
55.04 Program responsibilities.
55.043 County protective services agency.
55.045 Funding.
55.05 Protective services.
55.06 Protective placement.
55.07 Patients' rights.
Ch. 55 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 46.011 for definitions applicable to chs. 46, 48, 50, 51, 55 and 58.
55.001 55.001 Declaration of policy. The legislature recognizes that many citizens of the state, because of the infirmities of aging, chronic mental illness, mental retardation, other developmental disabilities or like incapacities incurred at any age, are in need of protective services. These services should, to the maximum degree of feasibility under programs, services and resources that the county board of supervisors is reasonably able to provide within the limits of available state and federal funds and of county funds required to be appropriated to match state funds, allow the individual the same rights as other citizens, and at the same time protect the individual from exploitation, abuse and degrading treatment. This chapter is designed to establish those services and assure their availability to all persons when in need of them, and to place the least possible restriction on personal liberty and exercise of constitutional rights consistent with due process and protection from abuse, exploitation and neglect.
55.001 History History: 1973 c. 284; 1979 c. 221; 1995 a. 92.
55.001 Annotation Neither a district attorney nor a corporation counsel has a duty to petition for protective placement, determination of incompetency, or otherwise intervene when an apparently competent elderly person with a life threatening illness chooses to remain at home under a doctor's and family care rather than seeking a higher level of care that might extend her life. 74 Atty. Gen. 188.
55.01 55.01 Definitions. In this chapter:
55.01(1) (1) "Abuse" means any of the following:
55.01(1)(a) (a) An act, omission or course of conduct by another that is inflicted intentionally or recklessly and that does at least one of the following:
55.01(1)(a)1. 1. Results in bodily harm or great bodily harm to a vulnerable adult.
55.01(1)(a)2. 2. Intimidates, humiliates, threatens, frightens or otherwise harasses a vulnerable adult.
55.01(1)(b) (b) The forcible administration of medication to a vulnerable adult, with the knowledge that no lawful authority exists for the forcible administration.
55.01(1)(c) (c) An act that constitutes first degree, second degree, third degree or fourth degree sexual assault as specified under s. 940.225.
55.01(1g) (1g) "Agency" means a county department or any public or private board, corporation or association which is concerned with the specific needs and problems of developmentally disabled, mentally ill, alcoholic, drug dependent or aging persons.
55.01(1m) (1m) "Bodily harm" has the meaning given in s. 939.22 (4).
55.01(1p) (1p) "Caretaker" means the person, if any, who takes care of a vulnerable adult voluntarily or under a contract for care.
55.01(1r) (1r) "County department", except as otherwise provided, means a county department under s. 46.215, 46.22, 46.23, 51.42 or 51.437 designated under s. 55.02.
55.01(1t) (1t) "County protective services agency" means the county department designated in s. 55.02.
55.01(2) (2) "Developmentally disabled person" means any individual having a disability attributable to mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism or another neurological condition closely related to mental retardation or requiring treatment similar to that required for mentally retarded individuals, which has continued or can be expected to continue indefinitely, substantially impairs the individual from adequately providing for his or her own care or custody, and constitutes a substantial handicap to the afflicted individual. The term does not include a person affected by senility which is primarily caused by the process of aging or the infirmities of aging.
55.01(2r) (2r) "False representation" includes a promise that is made with the intent not to fulfill the promise.
55.01(2t) (2t) "Great bodily harm" has the meaning given in s. 939.22 (14).
55.01(3) (3) "Infirmities of aging" means organic brain damage caused by advanced age or other physical degeneration in connection therewith to the extent that the person so afflicted is substantially impaired in his or her ability to adequately provide for his or her care or custody.
55.01(4) (4) "Interested person" means any adult relative or friend of a person to be protected under this subchapter; or any official or representative of a public or private agency, corporation or association concerned with the person's welfare.
55.01(4m) (4m) "Mental illness" means mental disease to the extent that an afflicted person requires care, treatment or custody for his or her own welfare or the welfare of others or of the community.
55.01(4p) (4p) "Misappropriation of property" means any of the following:
55.01(4p)(a) (a) The intentional taking, carrying away, use, transfer, concealment or retention of possession of the property of a vulnerable adult without the vulnerable adult's informed consent and with intent to deprive the vulnerable adult of possession of the property.
55.01(4p)(b) (b) Obtaining the property of a vulnerable adult by intentionally deceiving the vulnerable adult with a representation that is known to be a false representation, is made with intent to defraud and does defraud the vulnerable adult.
55.01(4r) (4r) "Neglect" means an act, omission or course of conduct that, because of the failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care or dental care, creates a significant danger to the physical or mental health of a vulnerable adult.
55.01(5) (5) "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.
55.01(7) (7) "Vulnerable adult" has the meaning given in s. 940.285 (1) (e).
55.01 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 46.011 for definitions applicable to chs. 46 to 51, 55 and 58.
55.02 55.02 Protective service system; establishment. The department shall develop a statewide system of protective service for mentally retarded and other developmentally disabled persons, for aged infirm persons, for chronically mentally ill persons, and for persons with other like incapacities incurred at any age in accordance with rules promulgated by the department. The protective service system shall be designed to encourage independent living and to avoid protective placement whenever possible. The system shall use the planning and advice of agencies, including the county department under s. 46.215, 46.22, 46.23, 51.42, or 51.437. The chairperson of each county board of supervisors shall designate a county department under s. 46.215, 46.22, 51.42, or 51.437 that is providing services in his or her county or a joint mechanism of these county departments to have the responsibility for local planning for the protective service system. The chairperson of the Milwaukee County board of supervisors shall designate the county department under s. 46.215 to serve as the county protective services agency for purposes of s. 55.043. The department and these county departments shall cooperate in developing a coordinated system of services. The department shall provide direct services and enter into contracts with any responsible public or private agency for provision of protective services. In each county, the county department designated under this section shall determine the reporting requirements applicable to the county under s. 880.38 (3).
55.03 55.03 Status of guardian. No agency acting as a guardian appointed under ch. 880 shall be a provider of protective services or placement for its ward under this chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the transfer of guardianship and legal custody under s. 48.427 or 48.43.
55.03 History History: 1973 c. 284; 1979 c. 330.
55.04 55.04 Program responsibilities.
55.04(1) (1) The department shall have all of the following responsibilities in the administration of this chapter:
55.04(1)(a) (a) Protective services.
55.04(1)(a)1.1. Outreach.
55.04(1)(a)2. 2. Identification of persons in need of services.
55.04(1)(a)3. 3. Counseling and referral for services.
55.04(1)(a)4. 4. Coordination of services for individuals.
55.04(1)(a)5. 5. Tracking and follow-up.
55.04(1)(a)6. 6. Provision of social services.
55.04(1)(a)7. 7. Case management.
55.04(1)(a)8. 8. Legal counseling or referral.
55.04(1)(a)9. 9. Guardianship referral.
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