There is currently no regulation that requires care facilities to immediately notify law enforcement once they become aware that a client is missing. However, there are detailed regulations about what needs to be reported to regulatory state agencies after the fact. My developmentally-disabled daughter went missing from a care home this summer. She had been missing three hours when I arrived, as scheduled, to pick her up. The police had not been called, I had not been called and nobody was searching for her. She was eventually located seven-miles away and was hospitalized for three-days. Last week, a young lady with autism went missing from a care facility in Oakland. There was a significant delay in notifying authorities. She was found the next day, severely beaten, and, reportedly, sexually assaulted. Earlier this year, an 86-year-old lady with Alzheimers went missing. Neither the family nor police were notified for several hours. She was found late in the evening, within sight-distance of the care home, on the grounds of a nearby school. She had died from prolonged exposure to the sweltering heat of the summer day.
- State Legislator
- Petition Author
- Field Representative for Assemblymember Joan Buchanan
I wholeheartedly support the continued work being done in your office to help develop a regulation that could literally save the lives of the most vulnerable in our society, the disabled and elderly. There are three cases that I know of where gross negligence of a care facility has resulted in either serious bodily/emotional injury or, tragically, a death of defenseless clients. These events have proven that we must do everything in our power to protect our loved ones, including legislating common sense regarding immediate notification of law enforcement when a client goes missing.
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