What Are Adult Protective Services?
Adult Protective Services (APS) are a set of services that aim to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, or exploitation. APS agencies are typically staffed by social workers who investigate reports of maltreatment and provide case management and support services to help keep victims safe.
Each state has an APS office but there is a National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) as well.
There are many different types of adult protective services, but all share the common goal of keeping vulnerable adults safe from harm.
Services may include crisis intervention, case management, information and referrals, advocacy, and community outreach.
APS agencies typically have authority to investigate reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults. They may also have the authority to provide emergency protective services, such as temporary shelter or placement in a safe environment.
APS agencies typically work with law enforcement, the courts, and social service agencies to provide a coordinated response to reports of maltreatment. They may also provide training and technical assistance to professionals who work with vulnerable adults.
The first step in getting help from APS is to make a report. APS agencies accept reports from anyone who suspects that a vulnerable adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited. APS agencies are required to investigate all reports of maltreatment.
If you suspect that a vulnerable adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited, you should contact your local APS agency. You can find the contact information for your local APS agency on the Eldercare Locator website.
Once a report is made, APS staff will work with the vulnerable adult and his or her family or caretaker to assess the situation and determine what services, if any, are needed to keep the individual safe from harm.
Services may include in-home services, case management, and referrals to other community resources. In some cases, APS may need to place the individual in a safe environment, such as a long-term care facility.
APS staff also work with law enforcement and prosecutors to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults.
If you are a vulnerable adult who is being abused, neglected, or exploited, or if you know someone who is, please contact your local APS office.
Who Is Eligible For Adult Protective Services?
Most states have laws that define which adults are eligible for protective services. Generally, these laws require that the person be 18 years of age or older and have a physical or mental disability that makes him or her unable to perform one or more basic self-care tasks.
Some states also require that the person be unable to provide for his or her own basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, or personal safety.
In addition, the person must be at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
What Services Are Provided By Adult Protective Services?
The type of services provided by adult protective services varies from state to state. However, most states provide some combination of the following services:
- Investigation of reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation
- Assessment of the needs of the individual
- Coordination of services to meet those needs
- Information and referrals to other agencies or resources
- Monitoring of service delivery
- Education about abuse, neglect, and exploitation prevention
How Do I Make A Report To Adult Protective Services?
If you suspect that an elderly or disabled individual is being abused, neglected, or exploited, you should contact your local adult protective services agency.
There are links below to each state’s adult protect services offices.
When making a report, you will be asked to provide your name, address, and phone number. You will also be asked to provide the name, address, and phone number of the individual you are concerned about.
You may be asked to provide additional information, such as the type of abuse you suspect, where it occurred, who was involved, and when it occurred.
Your local adult protective services agency will use this information to determine whether an investigation is warranted.
Adult protective services agencies are required to keep your information confidential. The agency will not release your name to the individual you reported unless you give them permission to do so.