APS F.A.Q.

Adult Protective Services Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  1. If you are unable to locate an adult or can not interview an adult what do you show as a rating on the Adult CQA?
  2. If law enforcement ask for information on an investigation, does he have to go through Open records to get written information?
  3. Can someone who is not a family member or caretaker be listed as a perpetrator in Adult Protective Services investigation.
  4. If I receive a report of domestic violence on a victim who lives with the perpetrator, what kind of investigation do I take?
  5. Do I take a report when the allegations involve unwanted fondling?
  6. What if a victim of spouse abuse complains of pain but there are no visual injuries, is that a referral we could take?
  7. Do we have to have a Mental Health Professional evaluate a victim in Adult Protective Services investigations before we can substantiate Mental Injury (Emotional/Psychological Abuse)? 
  8. Do we take a report when there is an allegation that an adult, who is living alone, is living in a dirty house?
  9. Do we take referrals of adults who are threatening to commit suicide? 
  10. Do we send a DSS-115 to law enforcement and the County or Commonwealth Attorneys?
  11. If workers are only able to do a telephone interview with a victim of Spouse Abuse can we substantiate a referral?
  12. Do we always have to interview perpetrators in APS investigations?
  13. Do I have to interview an adult's guardian?
  14. Can I send a letter to initiate the first contact with victim of domestic violence?
  15. When a worker receives a report that a resident in an alternate care facility abused another resident, do they take it as a report?
  16. Do we send the letter "Report Not Accepted" when we receive investigations in long-term care facilities and make the decision that we will not investigate it?
  17. Do I have to give ratings in all investigations?
  18. Will an EPO meet the requirement for adjudication in determining the findings of the investigation?
  19. In Spouse or Partner Abuse cases, if I interviewed the victim, have a witness who saw the abuse take place, and there are injuries can I substantiate the referral even though I do not have an adjudication or an admission from the perpetrator.
  20. What Findings are captured in the Historical File in TWIST? 
  21. Can the new "No Finding's KRS 209.020 (9)" be used for any referral that I am not able to make contact with the victim.
  22. If I have a situation where the adult is in a life-threatening situation and needs involuntary protective services should I file a Petition for an Emergency Protective Services Order? 
  23. If I am contacted by an agency that feels that an adult needs state Guardianship do I file a petition for State Guardianship?
  24. What is the Adult Personal Development Plan? 
  25. Do I have to do an Aftercare Plan if the adult refuses to complete one?

1. If you are unable to locate an adult or can not interview an adult what do you show as a rating on the Adult CQA?
The worker shows the highest rating for each category. Since you can not assess, you assume the greatest risk. Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 170 Assessment and Documentation on the Adult Continuous Quality Assessment (CQA).

2. If law enforcement ask for information on an investigation, does he have to go through Open records to get written information?
If the officer has an active interest in the case and needs a copy of our Adult CQA immediately and does not have the time to go through open records the worker can give him a copy. Refer to Chapter 1, SOP 175 Confidentiality.

3. Can someone who is not a family member or caretaker be listed as a perpetrator in Adult Protective Services investigation.
A person who is 18 years of years or older who has a mental or physical dysfunction and is abused, neglected, or exploited can have any one listed as the perpetrator. Refer to Chapter 2, SOP 106 Definition of Adult for Investigation.

4. If I receive a report of domestic violence on a victim who lives with the perpetrator, what kind of investigation do I take? 
If the report meets acceptance criteria, Chapter 2 SOP 108 Acceptance Criteria for Adult Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation, the worker takes the report as "Partner Abuse". This is a new category of abuse. The dynamics and procedures for investigation are the same as for Spouse Abuse. Refer to SOP 106 Definition of Adult for Investigation.

5. Do I take a report when the allegations involve unwanted fondling? 
Yes the worker can take an Adult Abuse or Spouse or Partner Abuse referral, if the victim meets the definition of adult. Refer to Chapter 2, SOP 106 Definition of Adult for Investigation, SOP 108 Acceptance Criteria for Adult Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation.

6. What if a victim of spouse abuse complains of pain but there are no visual injuries, is that a referral we could take? 
Yes, complaint of pain is one of the criteria that is used in Adult Abuse, Spouse, or Partner Abuse. Refer to Chapter 2, SOP 108 Acceptance Criteria for Adult Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation,

7. Do we have to have a Mental Health Professional evaluate a victim in Adult Protective Services investigations before we can substantiate Mental Injury (Emotional/Psychological Abuse)? 
No
, APS differs from CPS which does require a mental health professional make the determination.

8. Do we take a report when there is an allegation that an adult, who is living alone, is living in a dirty house? 
Not necessarily . The person would have to be living along and in a life-threatening condition or living in an unsafe environment. It would have to include that the adult's health or welfare had suffered or declined as a result of the dirty house. Refer to Chapter 2, SOP 108 Acceptance Criteria for Adult Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation.

9. Do we take referrals of adults who are threatening to commit suicide? 
No. Refer to Chapter 2 SOP 110 Reports Not Meeting Acceptance Criteria

10. Do we send a DSS-115 to law enforcement and the County or Commonwealth Attorneys? 
Workers shall send a DSS-115 to law enforcement to notify them of the report. A DSS-115 may be sent to the County, Commonwealth Attorney or Attorney General if the worker is making a referral for prosecution. Refer to SOP 112 Receiving the Report.

11. If workers are only able to do a telephone interview with a victim of Spouse Abuse can we substantiate a referral? 
Yes the telephone interview will meet the requirement for personal interview, however to substantiate a report it must also include an adjudication or an admission of an informed perpetrator. Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 154 Spouse or Partner Abuse Investigations and SOP 172 Determining the Findings of an Investigation.

12. Do we always have to interview perpetrators in APS investigations? 
No, it may not always be in the best interest of victims. In Spouse or Partner Abuse investigations, the worker shall obtain permission from the victim prior to an interview of an alleged perpetrator. In other cases if the worker determines it is in the best interest of the victim, the victim should always be made aware of the interview. If the worker has uncertainty about interviewing the alleged perpetrator, he should consult with his supervisor. Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 152 Initial Investigations and SOP154 Spouse or Partner Investigations.

13. Do I have to interview an adult's guardian? 
Yes the purpose of the interview is to explain the worker's role and obtain pertinent information. Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 152 Initial Investigations.

14. Can I send a letter to initiate the first contact with victim of domestic violence? 
No, the worker should try to obtain information from the referral source or others of where to safely interview the victim. Then the worker should attempt to make telephone contact if it can safely accomplished. If this fails the next step is to try to make a home visit if the worker can determine that it is safe to do so. If this proves unsuccessful, the next step is to send a standardized letter. The worker shall document all the step and the results of each step in their attempts to make personal contact with the victim. Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 154 Spouse or Partner Abuse Investigations.

15. When a worker receives a report that a resident in an alternate care facility abused another resident, do they take it as a report? Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 160 Investigations in Alternate Care, which says the following:

When a report is received alleging abuse or exploitation of one resident by another resident in an alternate care setting, the initial focus of the investigation shall be on caretaker neglect. The finding is to be documented under the category of caretaker neglect if the worker determines that the facility is depriving the residents of necessary services such as supervision.

The report also may be taken as adult abuse or exploitation depending on the allegation. If the worker determines that the facility or home was not neglectful but abuse or exploitation did occur, the worker shall assess the adult who committed the act and determine if the adult has the capacity to knowingly abuse or exploit. In the cases, where the worker finds that the abuse or exploitation was knowingly committed, the finding is to be documented as found and substantiated reports of adult abuse.
In the cases when the determination is made that the resident who committed the act does not have the capacity to knowingly abuse or exploit, the findings of some indication of Adult Abuse shall be documented in TWIST.

16. Do we send the letter "Report Not Accepted" when we receive investigations in long-term care facilities and make the decision that we will not investigate it? 
Only in State Operated Facilities. Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 160 Investigations in Alternate Care Facilities.

17. Do I have to give ratings in all investigations? 
Yes, all referrals that are accepted for investigation. Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 170 Assessment and Documentation on the Adult Continuous Quality Assessment (CQA).

18. Will an EPO meet the requirement for adjudication in determining the findings of the investigation? No, since EPO's are issued ex parte and the alleged perpetrator has not been given due process. A DVO does meet the guidelines for adjudication. Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 172 Determining the findings of an Investigation, and SOP 290 Referrals for Protective Orders Available under KRS 403.

19. In Spouse or Partner Abuse cases, if I interviewed the victim, have a witness who saw the abuse take place, and there are injuries can I substantiate the referral even though I do not have an adjudication or an admission from the perpetrator. 
No, it requires an admission or an adjudication in addition to the personal contact of the victim. Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 172 Determining the Findings of an Investigation.

20. What Findings are captured in the Historical File in TWIST? 
Only those that are determined to be Substantiated or Found and Substantiated. Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 172 Determining the Findings of an Investigation.

21. Can the new "No Finding's KRS 209.020 (9)" be used for any referral that I am not able to make contact with the victim. 
No it is only to be used for Spouse or Partner Abuse investigations. Refer to Chapter 3, SOP 172 Determining the Findings of an Investigation.

22. If I have a situation where the adult is in a life-threatening situation and needs involuntary protective services should I file a Petition for an Emergency Protective Services Order? 
The worker should request an Ex Parte order in those situations, if it is granted then the worker files the petition for an Emergency Protective Services Order as soon as possible. Refer to Chapter 4, SOP 252 Involuntary Services.

23. If I am contacted by an agency that feels that an adult needs state Guardianship do I file a petition for State Guardianship? 
No, the worker would look at the referral to see if it meets acceptance criteria for a protective service investigation. If it does not meet the acceptance criteria, it does not meet the criteria for referrals for guardianship. If it does meet the criteria, the worker would conduct an investigation to determine if there was a need for guardianship, if were there lesser restrictive measures that could be used, and to see if there was any one else willing or able to file the petition. After that the worker would follow the steps outlined in the manual for referrals to Guardianship. Refer to Chapter 4, SOP 255 Adult Guardianship/Conservatorship.

24. What is the Adult Personal Development Plan? 
This plan is to be used when the adult does not want other household members or care network to know what they are working on in the case. It is not a TWIST form. It is not to be shared with any one outside DCBS unless the adult gives a signed release. Refer to Chapter 5, SOP 305 Adult Personal Development Plan.

25. Do I have to do an Aftercare Plan if the adult refuses to complete one? 
No in APS the adult has the right to refuse an Aftercare Plan. Refer to Chapter 8, SOP 651 Aftercare Plan.

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After reading the information if you have further questions, please use the Protection and Permanency Discussion Forum.

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