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Health and Community Services
May 11, 2010

Consultation Sessions for Proposed New Legislation Begin Today

The Williams Government will hold a series of consultation sessions throughout the province to discuss and elicit feedback concerning the development of new legislation to replace the current Neglected Adults Welfare Act. The new legislation will allow for effective, modern processes to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and potential exploitation

"The Neglected Adults Welfare Act is 37 years old and has had few amendments since its original proclamation," said the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Health and Community Services. "New legislation will ensure that the range of intervention services supporting vulnerable adults under the act balances an individual's right to self-determination and overall protection."

The new act for adult support and protection will establish a more modern and transparent approach to help adults who are suspected of being in situations where they are being neglected or abused and will apply to all areas of the province.

Numerous groups in various regions of the province that represent the interests of individuals who will be impacted have been invited; in addition groups associated with health care, community-based advocacy groups and municipalities have been invited to attend. Sessions will take place starting today in St. John's, continuing in Gander, Corner Brook and Happy Valley-Goose Bay and are expected to conclude next week.

"The proposed legislation will protect adults who are not able to properly care for themselves and who are not receiving adequate care and attention in their current circumstances," said Minister Kennedy. "Our government is following through on its commitment to improve legislation, policies and programs concerning the most vulnerable in society and is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all residents in our province."

Individuals who wish to have input into the new legislation can do so by sending written submissions. The general public can obtain further information by contacting:

Wanda Legge
Policy Development Division
Department of Health and Community Services
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL A1B 4J6

In Budget 2010: The Right Investments - For Our Children and Our Future, the Williams Government will invest approximately $60 million in services to enhance supports across the province with the goal of a revitalized and strengthened long-term care and community supports services system.

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Media contact:

Jennifer Tulk
Communications Manager
Department of Health and Community Services
709-729-1399, 699-6524

2010 05 11                                                     9:50 a.m.

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