About the Program
The Adult Protective Services (APS) program investigates reports of abuse and neglect of elder and dependent adults. An “elder” adult is any person 65 years of age or older. A “dependent” adult is any person 18 through 64 years of age who has physical or mental limitations which restricts their ability to carry out normal activities or protect their rights. APS evaluates all allegations of abuse and neglect to determine an appropriate and timely response. Social workers provide services that are focused on stopping the abuse and then helping the individual to develop a plan to maintain themselves in a safe environment. APS is designed to link the individual to programs and services provided by other public, private and community-based agencies. All services are voluntary and the person at risk has a right to refuse any services. Where there is concern that the person is unable to manage his/her own affairs safely due to diminished mental capacity or mental illness, APS staff may make a referral for investigation into the need for a conservatorship to the Office of the Public Guardian.
APS Services Available
- 24/7 hotline service for reporting abuse [(530) 842-7009]
- Investigation of reports of suspected abuse and neglect of elder and dependent adults
- In person response to crisis situations
- Needs assessment
- Short Term case management
- Assistance obtaining tangible support items and services (emergency food, clothing, etc.)
- Information and referral to services provided by other public, private and community-based agencies
- Information and education about legal reporting requirements
Types of Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Financial Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
Everyone should report observed, known or suspected incidents of adult abuse. This can be done by calling the hotline or filling out the SOC341 and faxing or mailing it to APS. Some individuals are required by law to report. Anyone who has full or intermittent care or custody or an elder or dependent adult (compensated or not) is by law a “mandated” reporter and must immediately report suspected abuse or neglect. Other professionals also required to report abuse include, but are not limited to, APS staff, clergy, health care practitioners, adult personal care providers, fire department personnel, law enforcement personnel, and staff at financial institutions. For a complete list of mandated reporters see the SOC 341 in Key Links below.
State APS Reporting Forms. Complete online, print and fax to 1-530-841-4238
- Report of Suspected Dependent/Elder Abuse (SOC341)
- Report of Suspected Dependent Adult/Elder Financial Abuse (SOC342)
Note: APS does not investigate suspected abuse in long-term care (LTC) settings. For suspected abuse in LTC settings, contact the LTC Ombudsman CRISISline at 1(800) 231-4024.
Signs of Risk
- There has been a sudden or dramatic change in the victim’s behavior and/or mental and/or physical health.
- Victim has repeated injuries or illness.
- Victim’s explanations for behavior, injuries, illness are inconsistent with observation or victim changes explanations.
- Victim or caregiver exhibit abnormal behavior, e.g. overtly hostile or frustrated, secretive, exhibits poor self-control, exaggerated defensiveness or denial, lacks facial or eye contact, etc.
- Victim is withdrawing from family, friends, and social supports.
- Victim appears overly medicated.
- Prolonged interval between trauma/illness and presentation for medical care.
- Caregiver is forced by circumstances to care for victim.
- Caregiver is unemployed, without sufficient funds, or dependent on victim for housing/money/ support.
- Caregiver has unrealistic expectations of victim.
- Caregiver has alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or mental health issues.
Questions & Answers
Q: I think that the person I am calling about needs help, but won’t accept it. What should I do?
A: Unless the person has been conserved, adults have the right to make decisions for themselves. However, if a report of suspected abuse/neglect is filed, social workers will attempt to talk with the individual about the concerns brought up in the report. The social worker will try to help the individual look at any issues and encourage the individual to take steps towards ensuring their own safety and well-being.
Q: Do I have to have proof the abuse occurred?
A: No, you may report what you know or suspect is happening. Trained social workers will investigate the concerns.
Q: What happens when I make a report?
A: A social worker will respond to and investigate the report, if the report/complaint is within the jurisdiction of APS. If appropriate, a support plan will be developed. If competent, the person has a right to refuse any service or support. Additionally, APS agencies, law enforcement agencies and the Ombudsman’s office have the responsibility to cross-report allegations of abuse to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, public agencies, and licensing entities having jurisdiction over these cases.
For a list of 15 questions and answers provided by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) see the Key Links on the left.