TOPEKA – During this current fiscal year (July 2012 through April 2013), the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) has investigated close to 8,000 reports of abuse, neglect and/or exploitation of vulnerable adults. On Thursday, May 23, Governor Sam Brownback signed a proclamation in Topeka, designating June as Adult Abuse Awareness Month.
DCF’s Adult Protective Services Program (APS) responds to reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults age 18 and older or are unable to protect themselves. This population includes those with physical, emotional or mental impairments. These impairments may affect an individual’s ability to manage his/her home and personal or financial affairs. Although a majority of reports involve older adults, an increasing number of younger individuals are suffering from abuse.
“It is the responsibility of every Kansan to report suspected abuse,” DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said. “Vulnerable adults deserve our protection.”
APS is working on a number of initiatives to protect those at risk for abuse, neglect and exploitation, including the creation of Financial Security Teams. Kansas nursing facilities will work with DCF to develop teams to protect vulnerable residents from fiduciary abuse.
“Adult Protective Services provides an essential service to our community,” Governor Brownback said. “I’m happy to call attention to the work they do to help older adults and persons with disabilities; no one should suffer from abuse, neglect or exploitation.”
Suspicions of abuse can be reported by calling the Protection Report Center at 800-922-5330.
How APS helps:
• Initiate a personal visit with the adults with 24 hours to five working days
• Contact sources to obtain additional information (with the adult’s consent)
• Interview the alleged perpetrator (with the adult’s consent)
• Discuss actions to take with the adult and guardian, conservator or caretaker
• Assist in locating services (legal, medical, mental health, etc.)
• Initiate involuntary intervention
• Provide advocacy
• Coordinate services
• Determine if abuse has occurred
• Provide the alleged perpetrator the opportunity to appeal
• Notify appropriate law enforcement if a criminal act has occurred
Governor Brownback signs a proclamation designating June as
Adult Abuse Awareness Month.