Adult Protective Services (APS) is a program provided without regard to income to assist the most vulnerable and neglected members of the community: the frail elderly, the mentally ill, persons that are developmentally challenged, those suffering acute and chronic physical illness, dementia or other conditions associated with aging and mental or physical handicaps. Services are aimed at maintaining individuals in the community as long as possible.
Adult Protective Services of Wayne County serves adults (age 18 and older) who:
- Are unable to protect himself or herself from abuse, neglect, financial exploitation or other harm.
- Have no one available who is willing and able to assist responsibly.
Our Guiding Principles:
- Right to Self-Determination: A competent adult has the right to exercise free choice in decision-making. Without clear evidence of risk, APS must refrain from imposing their own or societal values and standards. If a person is capable of understanding the risk and consequences of their choices or behavior, then APS will respect their right to self-determination and will work with that individual to develop a mutually agreed upon plan for services to reduce the risks.
- States Authority to Intervene: When there is a serious threat to the safety and well-being of an adult and the adult is incapable of making choices regarding the danger because of a temporary or permanent impairment, APS is obligated to secure service to ensure that person’s safety.
- Least Restrictive Alternative: Interventions are limited to specific actions required to address specific dangers. While efforts are made to provide needed services in the adult’s own home, alternate living arrangements may be considered.
Examples of warning signs of abuse can include (but are not limited to):
- An adult is seen wandering outdoors in clothing not appropriate for weather condition.
- A disabled or elderly person shows bruises and other signs of physical abuse.
- An elderly neighbor has become frail or malnourished and refuses assistance
- No activity in the home of a person living alone, mail and newspapers piling up
- A person shows confusion and forgetfulness over money, leaving essential bills unpaid
- A vulnerable adult is dependent on a stressed, mentally ill or substance abusing caregiver
APS is required to act on referrals that may be life threatening within 24 hours of the receipt of the information. For other referrals, an assessment begins within 72 hours and a home visit is made within the first three working days.
Some referrals are closed during intake if the eligibility requirements are not met, and services are not needed. An assessment and service plan is developed within 60 days of the referral. APS assesses the risks facing a client, his or her ability to deal with the situation and their willingness to accept assistance. APS tries to establish a trusting relationship with the client so that services may be provided on a voluntary basis, and they usually are.
Efforts are made to contact family, friends, neighbors and other community-based services in order to determine the client’s capacity to function independently, make decisions on his or her own behalf and to understand the consequences of those decisions. In most situations, APS involvement is short term.
Examples of Available Services from APS
- A home visit to identify needs and arrange for services, medical care or other resources in the community
- Assistance in finding other living arrangements
- Assistance in obtaining other benefits and services from the Department of Social Services and/or other Wayne County agencies (public health, mental health, aging, etc.),
- Services provided (directly, by contract or through referral) ranging from safety monitoring, case management, crisis intervention, and/or advocacy
- Counseling for client and family members
- Home chores in certain cases
- Money management services with approval from Social Security
- Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) services for chronically ill or physically disabled individuals who have a medical need for help with activities of daily living (ADLs) or skilled nursing services
- Petitioning the court for appointment of a guardian or for some other legal intervention.
APS services are free to adults in need of them, regardless of income. Adults have the right to accept or refuse services that APS offers. In cases of extreme need, the local Department of Social Services is required to intervene to protect the individual.
How to Help
Call the Wayne County APS unit at 315-946-4881. Ext. 1466. APS will have 72 business hours to respond to a referral. If you feel there is immediate danger for the individual, it is best to call 911 for police or medical assistance.
For Aide Services: Call New York Independent Assessor (NYIA) at 1-855-222-8350