Friday, November 2, 2018

Ohio Addresses Attorney Obligations In Confronting Elder Abuse

Kathleen Mahoney reports on an important step by the Ohio Supreme Court to address an attorney's obligations in an area of real concern

Ohio attorneys now have access to a resource for understanding, identifying, and reporting elder abuse.

Attorneys admitted to practice law in the state have a duty to immediately report suspected elder abuse to the county department of job and family services where the elderly adult resides. The requirement arises when an attorney has “reasonable cause to believe that an adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited, or is in a condition that is the result of abuse, neglect, or exploitation,” according to state law.

Attorneys are among several groups with mandatory reporting duties including those working in law enforcement, health care, or financial services. If mandatory reporters fail to report possible abuse, they could face criminal charges and fines of up to $500.

The guide for legal professionals, developed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), can be accessed free of charge from the link below:

Understanding Elder Abuse: A Guide for Legal and Law Enforcement Professionals

The materials also can be obtained on the Ohio Supreme Court’s website. For hard copies, visit the Job and Family Services Forms Central website and enter form number JFS 08096.

Elder abuse can include physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, as well as neglect, abandonment, or financial exploitation. In addition to physical injuries, the following are a few of the possible indicators of abuse: being isolated, missing appointments, appearing frightened or avoiding specific people, suddenly withdrawing from usual activities or interactions, changes in mood or temperament, changes in personal hygiene, or being resistant to touching.

For questions about the training materials, email ODJFS at

Bravo Ohio! (Mike Frisch)

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Do you know when this requirement to report for attorneys was first enacted buy the Ohio Legislature?

Posted by: Mary Whipple | Nov 6, 2018 2:38:32 PM

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