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Adult Protective Services Unit
Adult Protective Services Unit, Minnesota Department of Human Services
It is the policy of the state of Minnesota to provide safe environments and services for vulnerable adults and to provide protective services for vulnerable adults who have been maltreated. The Adult Protective Services unit provides training, consultation and case specific assistance to citizens, service providers, counties, law enforcement and state agencies regarding the Minnesota Vulnerable Adult Act [Minnesota Statute Section 626.557 (1995)]. In addition to consultation and education, the unit develops policy, best practices, and collects and evaluates data for the prevention of maltreatment and service planning for the protection of vulnerable adults.
Additional Information about Adult Protection:
Adult Protective Services keeps an aggregate statewide database on maltreatment reports. Adult Protection Data Reports
Who is a Vulnerable Adult, What is Maltreatment?
A vulnerable adult can be any person over age 18 who:
There are three basic kinds of maltreatment:
Reporting Suspected Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults
Minnesota encourages good faith reporting of suspected maltreatment of vulnerable adults by any person. The identity of reporters is confidential and cannot be released without a court order. Reports of suspected maltreatment of a vulnerable adult are made to the common entry point (CEP) in the county where the vulnerable adult is located. Each county has established a common entry point to take reports 24 hours a day, seven days a week. CEP phone numbers are available from the Senior Linkage Line 1-800-333-2433 or through County Phone Directory for Reporting Vulnerable Maltreatment
Reports made to the CEP are evaluated for need for immediate protective services. Reports which allege a crime are referred to law enforcement. All reports of suspected maltreatment are referred to the lead investigative agency responsible for responding to the report. Lead investigative agencies are: Counties, Minnesota Department of Health, and Minnesota Department of Human Services
Mandated Reporter Training:
Some professionals are required to report suspected maltreatment of a vulnerable adult. Online Mandated Reporter Training provides training on state statute and the duties of mandated reporters. It is available to any interested person.
Agencies Responsible for Protection:
Specific licensed professionals and licensed providers have responsibilities to report suspected maltreatment of vulnerable adults. County agencies, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Minnesota Department of Health, law enforcement, medical examiners and ombudsman all have responsibilities for response to reports of suspected maltreatment. Counties provide protective services to maltreated vulnerable adults.
Each county has their own adult protection unit which is responsible for investigating complaints and providing protective services in their community. State agencies investigate complaints that occur in licensed residences or are tied to a licensed service. Law enforcement units coordinate with state and local units to investigate maltreatment reports which contain allegations of criminal activity.
Guidelines to the Investigation of Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment
The Minnesota Vulnerable Adult Act outlines protection and investigation responsibilities for agencies responsible to protect maltreated vulnerable adults and investigate suspected maltreatment.
Data Collection, Social Services Information System (SSIS):
Effective April 1, 2008, a centralized database became available to all 87 counties. The Social Service Information System (SSIS) Vulnerable Adult (VA) Common Entry Point (CEP) collects all adult maltreatment reports. All adult maltreatment report information is sent electronically through the SSIS
An updated Tip Sheet assists counties with frequently asked questions associated with the SSIS VA-CEP system.
Structured Decision Making Tool in Adult Protection
Minnesota statutes 626.557, subd. 10, requires county social service agencies to assess and offer emergency and continuing protective services in response to reports of suspected maltreatment made to the common entry point. Counties use a standardized tool, in combination with the county's established prioritization guidelines, when making decisions regarding protective services and report investigation. The process used in the structured decision making process is found in the "Guidelines and Procedures Manual" of the "Structured Decision Making (R) for Adult Protection. The manual is located at:
Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment Review Panel
Minnesota Statute, section 626.557 subdivision on 9d, provides that any victim or interested party may request a lead agency to reconsider their final investigation disposition. If the lead agency fails to respond to the request or upholds the determination, the victim or interested party may request a review by the Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment Review Panel under MN Statute 256.021. The panel does not review alleged perpetrator appeals. These cases should be directed to the DHS Appeals and Regulations to request a fair hearing.
Get the "Help Protect People who are Frail or Vulnerable" brochure.
The S.A.F.E. Elders Initiative Website has additional information and resources to address elder abuse, neglect and exploitation for the public and for professionals including law enforcement and prosecutors.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Please contact the Adult Protection state office staff Jennifer Kirchen or Mary McGurran, or at DHS.AdultProtection@state.mn.us, by phone (651) 431-2609 or (800) 882-6262. TDD/TTY users please call (800) 627-3529 and ask for the phone number listed above.
County staff: Disability and Aging Policy Quest
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