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Briefs contain a synopsis of information on specific topics and links for additional information. Many of our briefs are short interviews with subject matter experts in the field.

Tips From the Field to Streamline Your Investigation and Casework

APS work is challenging! Workers must be intelligent, have emotional dexterity, and the skills to manage demanding workloads. Experienced workers have learned how to streamline their work to help them more efficiently complete their investigations and keep their caseload manageable. We asked your colleagues - APS workers currently working in the field - for tips that help them organize their casework and thinking to streamline the work they do. This brief provides advice from individual workers to you - the individual worker. In addition to the individual tips, we’ve also collected recommended trainings or tools that others have found especially helpful.

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Quality Assurance in Adult Protective Services

APS casework is inherently complex and imperfect. It generally requires a balance of following rules (policies and procedures) while doing the best thing for clients based on education, training, instincts, and ethics. There is always room for improvement in the decisions made by individual caseworkers, in the direction provided by supervisors, in the standards developed by management, and in training. APS programs need processes to define, measure, and monitor expectations. Absent such processes it is difficult to know what to do to improve the quality of the program. This brief addresses approaches and benefits to quality assurance (QA) as well as considerations in developing a QA program.

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Trauma-Informed Approach for Adult Protective Services

A trauma-informed approach to adult maltreatment is important to achieve a better life for victims. This brief explains some of the foundations of the approach, examines the intersection of trauma-informed care and the COVID-19 pandemic, and provides several resources for additional learning. 

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What APS Needs to Know About Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Funding

State Adult Protective Services (APS) programs are generally funded by either Social Services Block Grant funding and/or state general funds. However, APS programs are struggling to meet the demands of their programs and are looking at ways to supplement their funding. Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding can be a way to increase services to APS clients who are victims of criminal abuse.

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Capacity Screening in Adult Protective Services: Guidance and Resources

Adult protective services (APS) case workers are often the first to encounter situations where an older person or person with disabilities who is a victim of abuse, neglect or exploitation may also have impaired decision-making. Issues involving decision-making capacity are complex, cross-disciplinary and include knowledge of medical syndromes, clinical assessment, ethics, and the law. This brief addresses: understanding capacity terminology, the relationships between capacity and abuse, screening tools, and research on capacity screening. 

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Adult Protective Services & COVID-19

Preparing for and responding to emergencies to support vulnerable adults requires the work of many within and beyond the APS community. While APS staff are not medical first responders, clearly, they must play an important role. In this difficult time, APS workers place the highest value on the needs and safety of APS clients and those for whom a complaint has been made, and at the same time, to mitigate risk of COVID-19 spread. APS, like all of us, must attend to the health and safety of their clients, communities and themselves. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) values the ongoing work APS is doing under challenging circumstances to ensure that vulnerable adults across the U.S. can be safe.

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Training Supervisors in Adult Protective Services: Guidance and Resources

Adult Protective Services (APS) supervisors are vital to the success of APS programs and their role is fundamental in assuring the safety and well-being of APS clients. They perform both clinical and administrative functions, approve casework decisions at key junctures, and guide and support staff in case planning and management, among other duties and responsibilities. APS supervisors often come to their position with little or no training on effective supervision and frequently assume the role without an understanding of the wide array of responsibilities the position entails. This brief details guidance and resources for for training APS supervisors.

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Interviews with Experts

Headshot of brief author Scott ModellInterview with Experts – Interviewing Persons with Disabilities

An interview with Scott Modell, PhD, on interviewing persons with disabilities. Dr. Modell is an expert in abuse, crime victims with disabilities, disability etiology, and interview techniques. He has authored nine books and has over 300 published articles and abstracts. Dr. Modell is frequently invited to lecture at national and international conferences regarding child abuse and crime victims with disabilities.

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Headshot of brief author Kathryn SappInterview with Experts - How the Opioid Epidemic is Impacting APS

An interview with Kathryn Sapp, who manages Missouri’s APS Policy and Staff Development bureau and has provided information for submission to the National Opioid Czar on the issue of how opioids are affecting APS.

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Headshot of brief author Michael HagenlockInterview with Experts - APS in Rural Areas

An interview with Michael Hagenlock, Bureau Chief for APS in Montana, on APS in his rural state. It is estimated that by 2030, Montana will be one of ten states in the country to have more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 18, and it is predicted Montana is on pace to rank #3 in elder population by 2030. Montana can be classified as rural, but in many areas is considered frontier. Montana APS runs a successful and innovative program. Michael spends much of his time crisscrossing the state to manage the program.

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Headshot of brief author Candace HeislerInterview with Experts - Interviewing Alleged Perpetrators

An interview with Candace Heisler on interviewing alleged perpetrators. Candace Heisler is a retired San Francisco prosecutor. She spent 25 years with the San Francisco District Attorney, more than 10 as head of the Domestic Violence Unit. For more than 20 years she has served as a national expert consultant and trainer in domestic violence, abuse in later life, and elder abuse. She has designed curricula for APS and other professionals and has published widely in these fields.

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Headshot of author Paul GreenwoodInterview with Experts - Working with the Criminal Justice System

An interview with Paul Greenwood on improving outcomes of shared adult protective services and criminal justice cases. Paul Greenwood recently retired from his 22-year role as San Diego County Deputy District Attorney in charge of the elder abuse division. He is now a consultant and educator on the topic of elder abuse.

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joe-snyder.pngInterview with Experts - Working with Financial Institutions

An interview with Joe Snyder about how adult protective services (APS) can work with financial Institutions. Joe Snyder is the chair of the National Adult Protective Services Association’s Policy Committee and works for NAPSA as an expert consultant on projects to improve the response of APS and financial institutions to cases of financial abuse.

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Headshot of brief author Lori DelagrammatikasInterviews with Experts: Nurses and Adult Protective Services

Some adult protective services (APS) programs employ nurses as part of their workforce. This brief contains an interview with Lori Delagrammatikas, Executive Director of the National Adult Protective Services Association, about how and why APS nurses are an essential part of the team.

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Headshot of brief author Bill BensonInterview with Experts: Funding Sources for Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective Services (APS) programs are funded in a variety of ways. This brief contains an overview with Bill Benson, National Adult Protective Services Association’s Policy Advisor, on various ways programs are funded across the US.Adult Protective Services (APS) programs are funded in a variety of ways.This brief demysifies the funding of APS programs at the state and local level and addresses funding streams such as the Social Services Block Grant, Medicaid, and local property taxes.

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