The Justice Center has developed protocols to ensure the safety of individuals receiving services during investigatory interviews. These protocols apply to all investigations of abuse and neglect conducted by the Justice Center, State Oversight Agencies, and facilities and provider agencies under the Justice Center's jurisdiction.
Under these protocols, provider agencies will be required to notify personal representatives of individuals receiving services who are identified as victims as well as those identified as potential witnesses. Personal representatives will also be asked for additional information regarding the most effective ways to communicate with the individual to aid in the interview process.
A personal representative can be notified that the person receiving services may be interviewed as part of the investigation. A personal representative will not be notified if:
- the person receiving services objects to notification; or
- such notification would compromise the investigation; or
- it would violate relevant confidentiality laws; or
- it is contrary to court order or otherwise contrary to the best interests of the potential witness.
The service provider or the investigator will notify personal representatives about when the interview will take place. Notification will be made either verbally or in writing. During the notification process, the personal representative will be asked if they have information about the most effective ways to communicate and support the interview process. A personal representative cannot refuse to allow an individual to be interviewed.
Personal representatives can be present during the interview as long as confidential information will not be disclosed. They may not disrupt the interview in anyway.
At the end of the investigation, the personal representative of a victim is entitled to the results of the investigation. Witnesses and their personal representatives are not entitled to the results of the investigation.
Protocols related to interviews of individuals receiving services as part of an investigation into allegations of abuse or neglect.
Abuse and Neglect Investigation: Personal Representative Notification Documentation Form - Optional Template
New York State law requires personal representatives to be notified when a service recipient will be interviewed as part of an abuse and neglect investigation. This form is an optional template to document that this notification has occurred.