Adult Protective Services

Chances are high that you’ve at least heard of Adult Protective Services at one time or another, but just in case you need a refresher, here’s what you should know. 

Adult Protective Services (or APS) are those services which have been put into place to ensure both the safety and well-being of seniors and adults with disabilities. ADS are particularly aimed to help those who are at risk of mistreatment or neglect and those who are unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from being harmed.

Interventions that are provided by Adult Protective Services can include, but are not limited to, receiving reports of adult abuse, exploitation or neglect, as well as investigating said reports, case planning, monitoring and evaluation. On top of casework services, Adult Protection can provide or arrange for the provision of medical, social, economic, legal, housing, law enforcement or any other protective, emergency or supportive services.

In a lot of states, caseworkers for Adult Protective Services are the first responders upon receiving reports of abuse, neglect and the exploitation of those adults who may be vulnerable. It’s important to note that many of the APS programs serve both younger and older individuals. However, in some states, APS responsibilities are only for cases that involve older adults (and eligibility can be based on age, incapacity, or vulnerability of the adult). Though there are a few APS programs that serve only younger adults (those aged 18-59).

Some types of interventions provided by Adult Protective Services may include the following:

  • Receiving reports of elder/vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation
  • Investigating said reports
  • Assessing a victim’s risk
  • Assessing a victim’s capacity to understand his or her risk and ability to give informed consent
  • Developing a case plan
  • Arranging for emergency shelter, medical care, legal assistance, and supportive services
  • Service monitoring
  • Evaluation 

So there you have it. A brief overview of some of the services provided by Adult Protective Services. This information can be helpful when figuring out whether your loved one or close friend may be in need of some assistance. Too often, abuse and neglect of seniors is kept quiet, but there are options out there for those that could make use of them.