131D-32. Functions of adult care home community advisory committees.

(a) The committee shall serve as the nucleus for increased community involvement with adult care homes and their residents.

(b) The committee shall promote community education and awareness of the needs of aging and disabled persons who reside in adult care homes, and shall work towards keeping the public informed about aspects of long-term care and the operation of adult care homes in North Carolina.

(c) The committee shall develop and recruit volunteer resources to enhance the quality of life for adult care home residents.

(d) The committee shall establish linkages with the adult care home administrators and the county department of social services for the purpose of maintaining the intent of the Adult Care Home Residents' Bill of Rights.

(e) Each committee shall apprise itself of the general conditions under which the persons are residing in the homes, and shall work for the best interests of the persons in the homes. This may include assisting persons who have grievances with the home and facilitating the resolution of grievances at the local level. The identity of any complainant or resident involved in a complaint shall not be disclosed except as permitted under the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 3001 et seq. The committee shall notify the enforcement agency of all verified violations of the Adult Care Home Residents' Bill of Rights.

(f) The committee or subcommittee may communicate through the committee chair with the Department of Health and Human Services, the county department of social services, or any other agency in relation to the interest of any resident.

(g) Each committee shall quarterly visit the adult care homes with 10 or more beds it serves. For each official quarterly visit, a majority of the committee members shall be present. A minimum of three members of the committee shall make at least one visit annually to each other type of adult care home licensed in the county. In addition, each committee may visit the adult care homes it serves whenever it deems it necessary to carry out its duties. In counties with subcommittees, the subcommittee assigned to a home shall perform the duties of the committee under this subsection, and a majority of the subcommittee members must be present for any visit. When visits are made to group homes for developmentally disabled adults, rules concerning confidentiality as adopted by the Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services shall apply.

(h) The individual members of the committee shall have the right between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. to enter the facility the committee serves in order to carry out the members' responsibilities. In a county where subcommittees have been established, this right of access shall be limited to members of the subcommittee which serves that home. A majority of the committee or subcommittee members shall be present to enter the facility at other hours. Before entering any adult care home, the committee or members of the committee shall identify themselves to the person present at the facility who is in charge of the facility at that time.

(i) The committee shall prepare reports as required by the Department of Health and Human Services containing an appraisal of the problems of adult care homes facilities as well as issues affecting long-term care in general. Copies of the report shall be sent to the board of county commissioners, county department of social services and the Division of Aging.

(j) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to require the expenditure of any county funds to carry out the provisions in this section. (1981, c. 923, s. 1; 1983, c. 88, s. 2; 1991, c. 636, s. 19(b); 1995, c. 254, s. 6; c. 535, s. 15; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a).)