Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich

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Adult Protective Services - How The System Works

Callers to the APS Hotline should not feel like they have to answer all of the questions. Callers should simply answer those they can and provide as much factual information as possible.

  • Someone suspects that an elderly person is a victim of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation.
  • Person calls the APS Hotline at (877) 767-2385 to report alleged maltreatment.
  • Person tells APS Hotline staff why he or she suspects abuse (physical abuse is the infliction of physical pain or injury, sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an older adult), neglect (failure or refusal to provide for an older adult), exploitation (the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds, property or assets) or self-neglect.
  • Person provides as much information as possible about the alleged victim and perpetrator such as address, directions, phone number, age, safety concerns, etc.
  • Staff immediately conducts a search in the APS automated system to determine if the alleged victim is known to APS.
  • Staff gathers needed information by asking the person calling a number of questions so he or she can tell what is known, thought or felt.
  • Staff advises person calling that the report information is confidential unless it goes to court.
  • If the person calling only wants to ask about help and doesn’t meet the criteria for a report, the staff will provide information and referrals to help the adult get assistance and services.
  • If the report is accepted for field evaluation it will be sent to a local office for investigation.
  • Local staff begins investigation within two working days.
  • Investigator may telephone the reporting source to get additional information before going to see the client.
  • Staff contacts parties who might know about alleged abuse, neglect, self-neglect or exploitation such as physician, family members, neighbors, pastor, etc.
  • Staff evaluates the information gathered, discusses case with supervisor, if necessary, and decides if person needs protective services.
  • If it is an emergency, the staff will contact the police, paramedics or other emergency personnel immediately.
  • When staff cannot confirm abuse or neglect, the case will be closed. The staff may refer the client to other resources in the community if appropriate.
  • When staff can confirm abuse or neglect, they will report their findings to the proper authorities for action.
  • The staff will offer services on a voluntary or involuntary (guardian/conservator) basis depending on the degree of existing danger and the client’s ability to understand the situation.
  • If the report is not accepted for field evaluation for a number of reasons, the staff will explain to the person calling in.
  • If the person calling in insists that a report be accepted, the staff will offer to transfer him or her to the Intake Supervisor.
  • Person calling writes down the name of the APS Intake Worker and the time he or she called.

In finding solutions for abused, neglected, or exploited adults, Adult Protective Services strives to find assistance that allows the adult to remain in the least restrictive setting, in his/her own residence if possible, and to maintain the highest degree of self-sufficiency.