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Carla and Annie: A Story of Neglect

Carla and Annie: A Story of Neglect

What Does Neglect Look Like?

One night, police found two young women, Carla and Annie, wandering the streets unprotected and disoriented. They noticed both women were wearing dirty clothes and looked like they hadn't bathed in a while. The officers talked with them, learned that they were sisters, and realized that both had an intellectual disability. The officers took Carla and Annie home but felt that they needed help, so they contacted Adult Protective Service (APS) to investigate.

APS Investigates and Intervenes

Amanda, an APS caseworker, followed up with a home visit. She met Carla and Annie and saw that they were still wearing dirty, tattered clothes. But the signs of neglect went beyond their appearance. Their house was filthy, and it was clear that they had been living in bad conditions for a long time. Dirty dishes were stacked high, dust covered almost everything, and trash was everywhere. The toilet was broken, and urine and feces were all over the bathroom. The refrigerator wasn't working and was full of rotting food. The whole house smelled bad. The most horrifying discovery was the locks on the outside of the doors. Amanda suspected that the two women had been locked inside their house, like prisoners in their own home.

Amanda talked with the sisters to learn more. Carla was 20 and Annie was 22, but neither one was able to care for herself, let alone each other. Their father was their legal guardian, but it was clear he could not provide healthy living conditions for them. Amanda knew that Carla and Annie's immediate safety and well-being was the most pressing issue, so she convinced their father to temporarily move them into a boarding home.

A few months later, their father moved Carla and Annie back home. He didn't give reason for his decision, but he had the legal right to make it since there was no court order in place. Amanda continued to keep tabs on the sisters' situation and found that they were once again living in a state of neglect. Amanda got a court order and arranged for Carla and Annie to move back to a boarding home that met their basic needs while they waited for a court-appointed guardian and a safe, permanent home.

A Committed Partnership

It took a team to move Carla and Annie out of their dangerous living conditions. By working together, APS, its community partners, and the investigating police officers found the sisters a safe home where they could live with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Carla and Annie's story is an example of how Adult Protective Services is committed to working with its partners to protect vulnerable adults who are being abused, neglected, or financially exploited.


If you see signs of neglect in a neighbor or loved one, help them by making a report to APS.

Learn more about when to report

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