S.P. 72 - L.D. 219
An Act To Improve the Child Welfare Ombudsman Function
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 22 MRSA §4087-A, sub-§4, as amended by PL 2003, c. 20, Pt. EEE, §1, is further amended to read:
4. Services. The program shall provide services directly or under contract. The first priority in the work of the program and any contract for ombudsman services must be case-specific advocacy services. In performing services under this section, the program, as it determines to be appropriate, may create and maintain records and case-specific reports. Any work on systems improvements or lobbying must be adjunctive to case-specific activities. The program may:
A. Provide information to the public about the services of the program through a comprehensive outreach program. The ombudsman shall provide information through a toll-free telephone number or numbers;
B. Answer inquiries, investigate and work toward resolution of complaints regarding the performance and services of the department and participate in conferences, meetings and studies that may improve the performance of the department;
C. Provide services to persons to assist them in protecting their rights;
D. Inform persons of the means of obtaining services from the department;
E. Provide information and referral services;
F. Analyze and provide opinions and recommendations to agencies, the Governor and the Legislature on state programs, rules, policies and laws;
G. Determine what types of complaints and inquiries will be accepted for action by the program and adopt policies and procedures regarding communication with persons making inquiries or complaints and the department;
H. Apply for and utilize grants, gifts and funds for the purpose of performing the duties of the program; and
I. Collect and analyze records and data relevant to the duties and activities of the program and make reports as required by law or determined to be appropriate.
Sec. 2. 22 MRSA §4087-A, sub-§6, as enacted by PL 2001, c. 439, Pt. X, §5, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
6. Confidentiality of records. Information held by or records or case-specific reports maintained by the program are confidential. Disclosure may be made as allowed or required in accordance with the provisions of section 4008, subsections 2 and 3. Unlawful dissemination is subject to the provisions of section 4008, subsection 4.
Effective September 17, 2005.
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