Adult Protective Services–What You Need to Know

If you work with the aging population, there’s an important organization you should know about: Adult Protective Services (APS).

In Illinois, APS is administered through the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA). APS is responsible for investigating allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation (ANE) for adults (age 18 and older) with a disability, and all adults age 60 and older. Most counties have their own APS providing agency; some smaller counties share an agency with neighboring counties.

In order for the allegedly endangered adult to be eligible for APS services, they must meet certain criteria in addition to age and ability:

1. There must by at least one allegation which would constitute ANE. This includes physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; passive neglect; deprivation; and financial exploitation. Those who allegedly self-neglect are also eligible for services if the self-neglect is causing a clear and present danger to the person.

2. The alleged abuse must have occurred within the past 12 months, or, if the abuse occurred prior to twelve month previous, the effects of the abuse must continue to adversely affect the alleged victim.

3. The alleged victim must reside in a domestic setting at the time of the report. This means abuse that occurs in a nursing home, licensed assisted living community, hospital, or workplace would not be investigated by APS. However, if you would like to report abuse that happens in an institutional setting, your local APS agency will be able to help you find the right place to report the abuse. Also, abuse that takes place in an independent living community may usually be investigated by APS.

During the course of the investigation, and often beyond the investigation, Adult Protective Services staff offer caseworker follow-up, early intervention services, referrals to necessary community resources, assistance with guardianship proceedings, and advocacy and support to victims and their families. In addition, APS also provides free, educational, and professional training services to community organizations, including hospitals, courts, law enforcement, and other social service organizations.

To make a confidential report of abuse of a vulnerable adult in Illinois, call the 24-hour Adult Protective Services hotline at (866) 800-1409.