The Minnesota Vulnerable Adults Act establishes requirements for reporting alleged maltreatment of vulnerable adults to government agencies, investigating maltreatment reports, and providing protective services to vulnerable adults. The purpose of the act is to ensure that vulnerable adults are safe in their living environments and in the receipt of health care and supportive services. This publication provides an overview of the act and related statutes. The act was enacted in 1980 and has been amended numerous times.

As Minnesota’s population ages and the number of Minnesotans with physical and cognitive limitations has increased, the number of people who meet the definition of “vulnerable adult” has also grown. In recent years, the number of maltreatment reports made to government agencies and law enforcement has also increased, and vulnerable adult maltreatment and investigation issues have received attention from the media. As a result, members of the public, interest groups, executive branch agencies and the governor’s office, and the legislature have examined various facets of the act and considered proposals to amend it.

The act identifies who is a vulnerable adult, specifies persons required or permitted to report maltreatment, and defines what constitutes maltreatment—abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Maltreatment reports must be submitted to the common entry point for maltreatment complaints, the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC). In specific circumstances, a report may or must also be made to a health care facility, the Minnesota Department of Health, or law enforcement. MAARC screens all reports it receives and refers them to the appropriate county agency, law enforcement agency, state agency, medical examiner, ombudsman, or other organization for investigation and a determination, or other resolution. After a lead investigative agency makes a final disposition of a maltreatment report, that disposition may be reconsidered or appealed. The act specifies timelines for screening reports, making final dispositions, and appeals. The act also includes provisions governing access to maltreatment reports and data, destruction of records, publication of data, multidisciplinary adult protection teams, and education, training, and outreach activities.

Provided by MN House Research, for full article:


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