Adult Protective Services

Information for Professionals in the:

To report adult abuse, call (within New York State only):1-844-697-3505 or
contact the local county Department of Social Services Adult Protective Services.

For the healthcare community

Laws - In New York State, Kathy's Law and the Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act of 1994 are used by those in the health care field in aiding in the prevention of adult abuse. Kathy's Law applies to nursing homes and home health care agencies, and increases penalties for caregivers guilty of injury to incompetent or physically disabled adults age 60 and older. The Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act of 1994 requires hospitals and clinics to provide the Victim's Rights Notice to all suspected or confirmed adult domestic violence victims

Helping the Victim - Victims should be made aware of the following:

  • Assault is a crime
  • Abuse will likely increase if help is not sought
  • A safety plan is needed to get away from the abuser if needed
  • The abuser is responsible for the violence, not the victim
  • The abuser may be imprisoned if the violence increases or continues
  • Victims have the right to an Order of Protection against their abusers in criminal or family court

Documentation - Healthcare workers must record abuse claims as follows

  1. Reports by the victim, including their actual words about verbal, physical or sexual assaults, pain from injuries, financial abuse, and any use of weapons
  2. Physical examinations including a rape kit, if warranted
  3. Photographs taken with the victim's consent before wounds are treated, unless this would affect the outcome of client care
  4. Material evidence from the victim's body may be needed in court and should be carefully preserved
  5. Collateral contacts with family members, friends, or social workers familiar with the victim should be documented, with the victim's consent.

For the financial community

Suspicious Banking Activities - The following should be watched for as signs of financial exploitation

  • Unusual volume of banking activity
  • Banking activity inconsistent with customer's usual habits
  • Suspicious signatures on checks or other financial documents
  • Sudden increases in debt the customer appears unaware of
  • Funds withdrawn by care giver with no apparent benefit to client
  • Bank statements and cancelled checks no longer sent to customer's home

Steps To Prevent & Intervene -

  • Speak privately with customer about suspicious transactions
  • Check authorization/documentation for someone else to act for customer
  • If necessary, ask customer to speak with security
  • Provide Confidential Crime/Financial Exploitation Alert Form
  • Save any photographic evidence for law enforcement
  • Notify security and/or law enforcement immediately if customer appears to be in danger
  • If customer appears to be confused, increasingly frail, or neglected, notify Protective Services for Adults, Office for the Aging, or other abuse prevention programs

For the law enforcement community

The law enforcement community must work with social service departments, financial institutions, and health care professionals in the investigation and prevention of adult abuse. The New York State Domestic Violence Consortium has developed an acronym that also applies to the abuse, mistreatment and neglect of impaired and adults

R A D A R

Respond to a domestic incident as a potential crime
Ask direct questions
Document your findings and decisions
Assess for safety
Review legal options and make referrals

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