Section 18. (a) The department or its designated agency shall assess and evaluate the information reported pursuant to the provisions of section fifteen.
Such assessment shall include a visit to the residence of the elderly person who is the subject of the report and may include consultations with appropriate service agencies and individuals who have knowledge of the elderly person's situation including the person filing the report. The elderly person who is the subject of the report shall receive written notice that an assessment is being conducted and shall have the right to review the file and report developed as a result of the assessment.
If the assessment results in a determination that the elderly person is suffering from abuse, the department or the designated agency shall evaluate the elderly person's functional capacity, situation, and resources and shall develop a service plan for the provision of protective services. Said plan shall be appropriate to the needs of the elderly person and shall utilize the least restrictive alternatives.
The department shall adopt rules and regulations establishing time limits for the completion of assessments and evaluations and for the implementation of service plans; provided, however, that if an emergency exists, assessments shall be completed within twenty-four hours of the receipt of the report.
If an assessment results in a determination that the elderly person has suffered serious abuse, the department or designated agency shall report such determination to the district attorney of the county where the abuse occurred within forty-eight hours. The district attorney may investigate and decide whether to initiate criminal proceedings.
(b) The department or the designated agency shall provide or arrange for protective services in accordance with the service plan developed pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a). Protective services shall include, but not be limited to, the following: the capacity to respond to an emergency; protective services case work; the capacity to provide or arrange for a homemaker, home-health aide, transportation, legal assistance, counseling, nutrition services, guardianship and conservatorship, protective order through the court, emergency shelter, foster care, and adult day care services.
The department or the designated agency is authorized to arrange for additional services necessary to assist and protect elderly persons who have been abused, including, but not limited to, the following: medical care, mental health care and emergency financial assistance.