Once a call is made to Adult Protective Services, the following services may be provided:
- Referral to Community Based Agencies
- APS Investigation
The APS investigation focuses on assessing the elder or dependent adult’s physical, cognitive, psychological, functional and socio-economic status; the elder or dependent adult’s living environment; the elder or dependent adult’s support system or lack of support system; and the elder or dependent adult’s strengths. The allegations of abuse or neglect are examined and level of risk is assessed. A plan is developed with the elder or dependent adult’s participation, which may include arranging for emergency services, emergency shelter or medical care.
APS social workers may provide referrals or linkage to community services, benefits, advocacy and medical professionals. They also may arrange for direct services such as Meals on Wheels, and transportation. APS Social Workers also coordinate with family, friends and other professionals involved with the elder or dependent adults to meet their needs. APS may request assistance from law enforcement for welfare checks and/or criminal investigations. As a result of the APS investigative findings, the following possible interventions and outcomes may occur:
- The abuse allegations are unfounded and the elder or dependent adult is not at risk of abuse, and does not need services.
- The elder or dependent adult may be in need of hospitalization, or medical evaluation by physician or public health nurse.
- The elder or dependent adult’s support systems, ( family, friends, spiritual and/or community agencies) are able to meet the needs of the elder or dependent adult and no further APS involvement is needed.
- The elder or dependent adult may be referred to community based agencies for a variety of services such as care-giving, meal delivery, housing resources, and legal resources.
- The elder or dependent adult may be assisted with applying for public assistance programs, medical services, and transportation services.
- The elder or dependent adult may benefit from a probate conservatorship, and APS may coordinate a physician assessment and referral to the Santa Clara County Office of the Public/Administrator/Guardian/Conservator.
- APS may report the elder and dependent adult abuse allegations to law enforcement agencies, and may work together to facilitate safety and reduction of risk.
- The Financial Abuse Specialist team (FAST) may work on coordinated efforts to protect the elder or dependent adult by investigating elder and dependent adult abuse, referring for a probate conservatorship, and by reviewing cases for possible civil and criminal actions.
Santa Clara County’s Law Enforcement Agencies, District Attorney’s Office, County Counsel’s Office, Social Services Agency-Department of Aging and Adult Services, Victim Witness and Long Term Care Ombudsman Program have completed an updated version of the Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Protocol for Santa Clara County Law Enforcement. The purpose of this protocol is to institute a coordinated Law Enforcement response in order to promote a comprehensive method of addressing abuse, neglect and exploitation of dependent adults and older persons.