When a call is received...
A trained Adult Protective Services (APS) case worker will respond within a specified time period depending on the severity of the case: within 24 hours for life threatening situations, within 72 hours for most neglect and non-threatening physical abuse situations, and up to seven days for most emotional abuse or financial exploitation reports.
The case worker will contact the victim and help determine what services are most appropriate to stop the abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. Those services may include:
- in–home or other health care;
- nutrition services;
- adult day services;
- respite care for the caregiver;
- housing assistance;
- financial or legal assistance and protections, such as representative payee, direct deposit, trusts, order of protection, civil suit or criminal charges;
- counseling referral for the victim and the abuser;
- when needed, guardianship proceedings or long-term care placement;
- emergency responses for housing, food, physical and mental health services.
The person has the right to accept or decline services.
As an adult, a competent person may refuse an assessment and may refuse all services and interventions. This is called the client’s right to self–determination, upon which the Adult Protective Services program is based. No decisions are made about a competent adult without that adult’s involvement and consent. Every effort is made to keep the person in his or her home.
Where a person has dementia or another form of cognitive impairment, the Adult Protective Services Program works to assess the situation and to provide services, as needed. In some cases, the Adult Protective Services Provider Agency petitions the court for guardianship in order to ensure that the person’s needs are met. Guardianship and/or alternative long-term care residential services are always the last resort.