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Adult Protective Services

Individuals most often referred to this unit are among the most debilitated and neglected members of the community: the frail elderly, the mentally ill, the mentally retarded and the abused and exploited. These persons are often not known to any agency or have refused services and are isolated from family and friends.    Once the Department receives a protective referral, an investigation commences.   If a determination is made the person is in need of assistance, a caseworker is assigned.  Typical Adult Protective Services provides for support and compassionate:

  • Investigation of reports of financial exploitation, abuse/neglect or domestic violence,
  • Management of client's finances (if appropriate) to ensure  that  their income and resources are protected and financial  responsibilities are met.

Information and Referral

When the Adult Protective Services unit conducts a investigation and it s determined that the indivdiual does not need ongoing services, but would benefit from short term Help, the APS unit can provide such services. A formal case opening may not be required.   Usually, the person is experiencing a life crisis of some sort and needs assistance in connecting with available community resources.  The caseworker can help the person by providing the information and assisting in the application process where needed.  This service is usually provided within the first 60 days of receiving a referral.

If, during the course of a Protective Services referral  investigation,  questions arise about the adult's mental capacity,  a mental health evaluation will be pursued to determine if court-ordered interventions should be provided.   If a Doctor determines that an individual is incapable of understanding  risk and chooses to stay in an abusive or neglectful situation, and no other appropriate responsible adult can be located, the Department can petition the court to become the legal guardian. 

Under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene  Law, the Court may be petitioned for the appointment of a guardian for an alleged incapacitated person. The Court  may appoint a guardian if it  has been determined that it is  necessary to manage the personal and/or financial affairs of  the person. The Commissioner of Family Services can be appointed legal guardian.

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