Adult Abuse Prevention Information

Adult Protective Services (APS)

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Who is eligible for Adult Protective Services?

People reported to be abused, neglected or exploited who are:

  • age 65 or older; or
  • age 18 to 65 who have disabilities.

Areas of Responsibility

We investigate allegations of abuse, neglect, and the exploitation of vulnerable adults in the community. When maltreatment is confirmed, APS provides and arranges for services to alleviate abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Short-term services may include emergency shelter, food, medication, heavy cleaning, minor home repairs, restoration of utilities, and mental health assessments. Nursing home investigations and cases that require guardianship services are referred to Texas Health and Human Services.

How APS Works

  1. Someone suspects that an elderly person or adult with a disability is a victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
  2. A call is made to the DFPS Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 to report the alleged maltreatment.
  3. A priority is assigned to the report if the information reported meets the legal definition of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
  4. Hotline staff send the report to local APS staff for investigation. The hotline staff will contact the on-call APS worker if an after-hours report is a high priority.
  5. APS staff initiates investigations within 24 hours. They will visit clients within 24 hours, three days, seven days, or 14 days depending on the priority of the case.
  6. Workers may talk to others who know the client to gather more information.
  7. APS staff contact all people who might know about the alleged maltreatment.
  8. Worker evaluates the information gathered, discusses the case with a supervisor, and decides if the client needs protective services.
  9. In emergencies, the worker will call law enforcement, emergency medical staff, or the fire department.
  10. When abuse, neglect, or exploitation is not validated: The case is closed. Staff may refer the client to other resources in the community, if appropriate.
  11. When abuse, neglect, or exploitation is validated, staff arrange for services to alleviate or prevent future maltreatment, as appropriate.