Unit 5

Purpose:

  • Explain what happens once a report is made.
  • Describe the role of Adult Protective Services.
  • Define and describe Guardianship and Conservatorship.

What Happens Once a Report is Made

  • APS Intake gathers information from the reporter and others regarding client capacity, dependency and danger or substantial risk of danger in order to determine if the referral is appropriate for case study.
  • The referral is then sent to the regional supervisor for review and determination regarding assignment.
  • Reporters are notified:
    • If the referral is assigned for case study or not; and
    • If the referral is not assigned for case study, the availability of other resources.

The Role of Adult Protective

  • Adult Protective Services:
    • Investigates reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
    • Arranges services to help make adults safe.
    • Arranges services to allow adults the most personal freedom possible.
    • Seeks guardianship and/or conservatorship of adults who are unable to make decisions for themselves and have no family or friend suitable and available to make the decisions for them.
  • APS services are based on the Client's needs and abilities. The Caseworker, with the client, determines appropriate services to the extent the services are available. Services offered and arranged are with the consent of the adult or his/her legal representative.

Services that may be arranged include:

  • Homemaking services.
  • Referring to Pine Tree Legal or Legal Services for the Elderly.
  • Advocating for housing to meet the client's needs for service and promote independence to the extent possible.
  • Arranging for medical or psychiatric assessment.
  • Referring abuse and exploitation cases to law enforcement.
  • Seeking a private individual to assume responsibility as Guardian or Conservator or petition for Public Guardian or Conservator.

Guardian and/or Conservatorship

  • Guardianship and/or conservatorship provide protection and care for incapacitated adults. Only a Probate Court can declare an adult to be incapacitated and appoint a guardian or conservator.
  • The Department can provide information and help with guardianship and conservatorship for an incapacitated adult who may be in danger of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Any able and willing adult may be a guardian or conservator. If there is no private individual able and willing to assume the responsibility, then the Department may be appointed as public guardian or conservator.
  • Public guardianship appointments are made to provide continuing care and supervision of incapacitated adults.
  • Public conservatorship appointments are made to protect, preserve, manage and apply estates of incapacitated adults.
  • When guardianship or conservatorship is sought, the client has a right to an attorney to represent him/her in court.
  • Public guardianship and/or conservatorship authority does not give the Department the ability to change or manage an adult's behavior.

For additional information on the topics of Guardianship and Conservatorship, click on the link to the Bureau of Elder and Adult Service's "Guardianship/Conservatorship Questions and Answers" Booklet