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Home >> L.A. Metro Multidisciplinary Team for Elders at Risk >> APS

Adult Protective Services (APS)
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After hours and during holidays 


Program Description

Adult Protective Services (APS) is a State mandated Title XX service program which mandates the prompt investigation of all situations involving elders (age 65 or older) and dependent adults (physically or mentally impaired 18-64 year old) who are reported to be endangered by physical, sexual or financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, neglect or self-neglect or hazardous living conditions.

Upon receipt of such a report, an APS Social Worker will make a face-to-face contact with the client in order to investigate and make an assessment of the situation.

When necessary, the social worker will seek the assistance of law enforcement to gain access to the client or to obtain protection in violent situations.

If the client is endangered, mentally competent and willing to cooperate, the worker will assist the client and other interested parties in eliminating or reducing the endangerment through providing short-term crisis intervention services. This includes connecting the client with other available resources in the community for ongoing follow-up services.

Other than for the activities associated with the investigation of alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation of the client, the services of this program are voluntary and can be provided only with the clients' consent.

If the client is endangered but not mentally competent, and has no one to act on his or her behalf, the worker will attempt to arrange for conservatorship for the client through the Office of the Public Guardian of the Department of Mental Health. Up arrow to top of page

Persons Eligible

Any endangered adult 18 and over is eligible for and may request Adult Protective Services without regard to income.

Referrals for Adult Protective Services may also be made on behalf of individuals by community agencies, social workers, relatives, or other concerned individuals. Up arrow to top of page



An endangered adult is any elder or dependent adult alleged to have been abused or neglected by another, or any other individual age 18 or older who is exposed to harm which could result in death, disability, irreparable damage, severe pain or serious financial loss and, due to impairment, is unable to protect or remove himself from that harm.


An elder is any person 65 years of age or older.


A dependent adult is any person between the ages of 18 and 64 who has physical or mental limitations which restrict his or her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his or her rights. These individuals include, but are not limited to, those who have physical or developmental disabilities or whose physical or mental abilities have diminished because of age.


An impairment is any condition, whether mental, physical, or psychological, permanent or temporary, which so immobilizes the client or limits his ability to protect himself or utilize community resources that he cannot remove himself from danger. These conditions include:

Physical impairments such as blindness, deafness, poor health, frailty, or the lack of use of one's arms or legs, among other conditions;


Mental impairments such as delusional thinking, loss of memory, confusion, or lack of mental competency, etc.;

bulletPsychological impairments which immobilize the client, such as severe depression, feelings of helplessness, feelings of intimidation in dealing with authority figures or service providers, or fear of retaliation by abusers. Up arrow to top of page

Service Activities

The following are some of the specific activities an APS worker performs in assisting recipients of Adult Protective Services:


Mobilizes or obtains the assistance of emergency personnel such as law enforcement or paramedics in life-threatening situations;


Investigates abuse reports in order to assess the degree of abuse involved and the willingness of the victim and the abuser to accept help;


Arranges for available temporary emergency shelter of respite care services for those endangered by an abusive environment;


Provides counseling and information and referral services;


Provides liaison services to assist the client in communicating or dealing more effectively with people or agencies, like landlords, doctors, hospitals and creditors;


Advocates on behalf of the client in situations where he cannot act effectively on his own behalf;


Arranges for services on behalf of the clients with other service agencies;

bulletConsults with other professionals. Up arrow to top of page
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Example of APS Situations

Examples of situations responded to through the APS program are those involving clients reported to be:

Unconscious, immobilized or in severe pain and in need of immediate medical attention or hospitalization;

Severely malnourished or dehydrated;

Tied, chained, locked up or otherwise physically restrained or confined;

Exposed to a life-threatening health or safety hazard;

Severely mentally or emotionally disturbed and a serious danger to themselves or others;

Physically or sexually assaulted;

Threatened with imminent eviction and/or serious financial loss due to exploitation by another or inability to handle finances;

Deprived of adequate food or clothing;

Unable to obtain or utilize needed medical or psychiatric care;

Living in conditions which represent a serious or chronic health or safety hazard;

Subjected to threats, harassment, or other forms of psychological abuse;

Prevented from communicating with others;

Systematically exploited or deprived of their income or other resources;

Unable to perform the basic activities of daily living. Up arrow to top of page

Indicators of Possible Abuse

Please see our Elder Abuse page.

A comprehensive bibliography of Elder Abuse Web sites offering local telephone numbers, indicators of possible abuse and advice on how to report abuse locally can be found in the Open Directory ProjectUp arrow to top of page

How to Contact APS

Call the Central Intake Unit during business hours at:

(888) 202-4CIU (recommended)

FAX Number for referrals: 

(213) 738-6485 (preferred for mandated reporters)

Or call the Hotline after hours and during holidays at:

(877) 4-R-SENIORS

You can find contact information to report Elder Abuse and Neglect in other Counties in the California State APS Roster (in pdf format).

Up arrow to top of page


Inside This Page

Program description
Persons Eligible
Service Activities
Example of APS situations
Indicators of possible
How to contact APS

Useful Links

California Department
  of Social Services
Contact info to reach APS
  in all California counties
Smarter Seniors Forums

  & Form SOC 341

Related Stories

Elder Abuse & Neglect
Criminal Elder Abuse &
  filing a police report
Bibliography of Web sites
  about Elder Abuse
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This site was first published in April, 2001.

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