A social worker has up to 10 calendar days to respond to a non-emergency report of Adult Protective Services.
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Adult Protective Services only evaluates adults who are 60 years of age or older, or an adult between 18 and 59 years of age and who has a combination of a disability and the inability to protect their own interest, or who has an inability to carry out normal activities to protect their rights, including, but not limited to, persons who have physical or developmental disabilities, or whose physical or mental abilities have diminished because of age.
Adult Protective Services can only remove a person from an unsafe home on a voluntary basis. If the person is mentally competent and understands the risk of remaining in the unsafe home, Adult Protective Services has no jurisdiction. If the client is thought to be mentally incompetent Adult Protective Services must take legal steps through the court to determine whether a conservatorship or surrogate decision-maker is necessary.
Adult Protective Services does not have the resources to locate independent housing for elderly or dependent adults who are being evicted or are already homeless. Adult Protective Services can assess the client for out of home care in a board and care home, assisted living, etc. and try to facilitate placement. Adult Protective Services also makes referrals to placement agencies.
It is not necessary to have proof of one's suspicions to make a report of a suspected abuse as long as the report is made in "good faith." There are penalties, however, for making a false or malicious report of abuse. A caller may request to be confidential and that is respected. In fact, the caller does not have to identify himself/herself at all, unless they are a mandated reporter by law.
Adult Protective Services does not automatically refer such cases for a conservatorship. There are many factors to determine if a Conservatorship should be pursued. Other methods are tried first which may alleviate the problem such as finding a responsible party to assist the client or be legally appointed as Power of Attorney, etc.
A consultation with the Nevada County Public Guardian is made after the social worker does a Conservatorship investigation. This might include talking with the client's physician, family, and other involved persons to determine if a conservatorship is the only viable plan. Referrals to the Public Guardian do not guarantee acceptance of the case.
Adult Protective Services can provide referrals to caregivers to go into the home of a frail client. In Home Supportive Services (a state run program administered by the county for low income individuals) is one of the resources. Referrals to care giving agencies and nursing registries can be provided to the client, family or friends.
An emergency response report is one in which an abuse or neglect incident or condition is believed to likely result in permanent injury or death. An Adult Protective Services social worker will respond immediately to check on the client's welfare. (Emergency response services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week).