By Tom Momberg
Councilman Paul Vallone’s (D-Bayside) six-month-long senior task force came to fruition last week with the City Council’s passage of two bills and a resolution to protect aging residents in the city as well as to reform the city Adult Protective Services.
The City Council approved the provisions unanimously under a coupled general order.
One bill would require the city Human Resources Administration to administer biannual trainings for employees of the city Department for the Aging and other agencies, so they could best identify and refer city residents who may be eligible for Adult Protective Services, which works with clients at risk of physical or mental impairment.
Another bill would require the city Department of Social Services to come up with semiannual reports to the City Council regarding referrals to APS.
Finally, the Council also passed a resolution to call upon the state Legislature to pass legislation that would require banking institutions to provide at least six months of financial records preceding a request for such documents to help identify and fight the exploitation of elderly people.
The legal justification behind the new procedures and training are to enhance support for APS as the agency faces increasing demand with limited resources.
Vallone, the chairman of the Council Subcommittee on Senior Centers, said he and Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn) drafted the two bills to improve the social safety net for aging residents by improving coordination between city agencies.
“After spending two decades as an attorney working hand-in-hand with the judicial system, hospitals, health care providers and clients for those in greatest need during guardianship proceedings, I was determined to address the growing crisis facing APS,” Vallone said in a statement.
Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomb