Adult Protective Services
Many adults are hurt by abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The adults who are most vulnerable are those with physical handicaps, those who are frail, and those with mental or emotional disabilities. Abuse can go on for years or may be a recent threat to the safety of an individual. Those who are abused often need assistance in protecting themselves, their income, their assets or their environment.
What is Abuse?
Abuse of an elder or dependent adult includes any of the following:
- Physical Abuse
- Financial Abuse
The Elder Services Coordinating Council's Resources Directory Committee worked with Passages to provide the Network of Care web site for use by Butte County's Elderly and Disabled population.
Physical Abuse: Bodily injury, cuts, bruises, burns, unexplained injuries, physical restraints, evidence of sexual abuse, deprivation of food and water.
Isolation: Preventing receipt of mail, phone calls, visitors, or contact with concerned persons.
Financial: Misuse of funds, unusual activity in bank accounts, checks cashed by others, suspicious changes in ownership, unpaid bills, missing belongings.
Neglect by Self or Others: Inadequate food, dehydration, untreated medical conditions, misuse of medications, unsafe housing.
Abandonment: A dependent adult or elder person who is left alone and is unable to provide for their basic necessities of daily living.
When a report of alleged abuse is received, a Social Worker takes information regarding the nature and extent of the abuse, neglect, exploitation, such as what the reporter saw, why the reporter considers it to be abuse, neglect or exploitation, and does the reporter believe the alleged victim is in immediate danger. If, after consultation with a Social Work Supervisor, it is determined that the report indicates that a dependent adult or elder is being abused, or at risk of abuse, then the following steps maybe taken:
- Initiate a personal visit with the adult within 24 hours to five working days depending on the risk of imminent danger to the individual.
- With the consent of the adult, interview the alleged perpetrator if one has been named.
- Interview collaterals when appropriate (service providers, relatives, neighbor’s, etc.).
- Discuss with the adult, guardian, conservator, and/or caretaker what actions are needed and, with the adult’s consent, develop service plans or corrective action plans with recommendations to prevent further harm.
- With the adult’s consent, assist in locating services which are necessary to maintain physical or mental health: i.e. legal services, medical care, appropriate living arrangements, assistance in personal hygiene, food, clothing, adequately heated and ventilated shelter, protection for maltreatment, and transportation.
- Provide advocacy to assure protection or personal rights.
State law requires mandated reporters to report on all suspicions of physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction or other treatment resulting in physical harm, pain or mental suffering.
A mandated reporter is any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for the care or custody of an elder or dependent adult, whether or not that person receives compensation. This includes administrators, supervisors and any licensed staff of a public or private facility that provides care services for elder or dependent adults. Any elder or dependent care custodian, heath practitioner or an employee of a county adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency is also a mandated reporter. Knowledge of abuse occurring to an elder or a dependent adult must be reported to APS or a local law enforcement agency.
ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES