Abuse/Neglect / Posted 1 year ago / 620 views
Adult Protective Services (APS) is dedicated to serving vulnerable adults. We investigate reports about abuse, abandonment, neglect, exploitation and self-neglect of vulnerable adults in Washington State. We collaborate with other agencies to offer protective services as needed. Our goal is to promote lives free of harm while respecting individual choice.
Link to Report Abuse (Online and Phone Options available in WA)- Report Adult Abuse
Reporters are encouraged to make a report online. Online reporting remains unchanged. The benefits of online reporting include a confirmation number and 24-hour availability to reporters, seven days a week. You may also report by:
|Report Online||Report by Phone|
All reports will be screened by Adult Protective Services and/or Residential Care Services. If the person is in immediate danger, call 911. You do not need proof to report suspected abuse and you do not need to give your name. If you are an employee reporting on behalf of a licensed long term care facility or certified supported living agency, please complete a Residential Care Services Online Report.
You will be asked to give the person’s name, address, contact information and details about why you are concerned. You will also be asked for your name and number or some way of contacting you if the investigator has follow up questions. Unless there is a court action, law enforcement has been called in, or you agree, your identity is confidential. If you report in good faith, you cannot be held liable for any damages resulting from reporting.
Don’t do it!!! Washington State law states “a person who intentionally, maliciously, or in bad faith makes a false report of alleged abandonment, abuse, financial exploitation, or neglect of a vulnerable adult is guilty of a misdemeanor.” Don’t believe me, read Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 74.34.053 Failure to report — False reports — Penalties, Section (2).
What to Expect After Making a Report
The report will be triaged and prioritized for investigation. A DSHS staff member may contact the reporter for more information. All reports are confidential (public disclosure or other state and federal regulations may apply).
The State of Washington defines a vulnerable adult by law as a person who is:
Not sure if someone is considered a vulnerable adult? Report your concerns anyway. We’ll take care of the rest.
When you make a report online, in-person or by phone or fax, our intake specialists gather information to begin the investigative process.
Each intake report is reviewed to determine if APS has jurisdiction and assigns an investigation timeframe.
Investigations include thorough interviews, observations, record reviews and coordination with law enforcement and other agencies as needed
We work with community partners to offer protective services, such as emergency shelter, food, medical care, personal assistance, counseling and more.
Remove a client against his or her own will
Detain or arrest an individual
Act as guardianship services
Act as emergency response (such as law enforcement or EMT)
Force people to accept services
You can make a report to Adult Protective Services (APS) even if you are not considered a mandatory reporter.
Mandatory reporters are professionals identified by law who MUST make a report if they suspect the abuse, abandonment, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect of a vulnerable adult has occurred. Mandatory Reporters include:
Employees of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)
Professional school personnel
Contracted Individual Providers caring for a DSHS client
Employees of a social service, welfare, mental health, home care, hospice, home health, adult day care or adult day health agency
Owners or employees of nursing homes, boarding homes or adult family homes
Health care providers subject to Title 18 RCW (such as nurses and doctors)
Christian Science Practitioners
Mandatory reporters must also make a report to law enforcement if they suspect a vulnerable adult has been sexually or physically assaulted, or if they have reasonable cause to believe that an act has caused fear of imminent harm.
Mandatory reporters may not have to make a report to law enforcement for some types of physical assault between two vulnerable adults. For these types of physical assault, see RCW 74.34.035(4).
Mandatory reporters are also required by law to report a death to the local Medical Examiner or Coroner if there is reason to suspect that the death of a vulnerable adult was caused by abuse.