Adult Protective Services

Mission & Purpose

The primary purpose of Adult Protective Services (APS) is to investigate reports of adult abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation while providing least restrictive interventions.  It is the mission of APS to provide support and services to vulnerable adults to improve the safety, well-being, and independence of victims of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and financial exploitation. 

Who can receive Adult Protective Services?

APS is available without regard to income for adults who are 18 years of age or older, or emancipated minors if: 
  • The individual meets the definition of vulnerable OR is a resident of a nursing home or other facility; and
  • Reported to be a victim of abuse, neglect (including self-neglect), financial exploitation, or in an emergency situation.
Who is considered vulnerable?

A vulnerable adult is a person who by reason of physical or mental condition in unable to independently carry out daily activities necessary to sustain life, reasonable health, and protection.

What are the responsibilities of Adult Protective Services?  

  • Investigate reports of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation
  • Conduct investigations in the home or facility
  • Provide appropriate services and supports based on the conclusions drawn from the investigation
What is maltreatment?

Abuse is the infliction or threat of physical or psychological harm, including the use of undue influence or the imprisonment of a vulnerable adult or facility resident. 

Neglect is the unreasonable failure by a caregiver to provide the care necessary to maintain the safety or health of a vulnerable adult or self-neglect by a vulnerable adult, including the use of undue influence by a caregiver to cause self-neglect. 

Self-neglect is the inability of a vulnerable adult to meet his/her own basic needs of daily living due to mental or physical condition.

Financial exploitation is the intentional misappropriation, misuse, or use of undue influence to cause the misuse of funds or assets of a vulnerable adult or facility resident. Financial exploitation does not apply to a transaction or disposition of funds or assets where a person made a good-faith effort to assist the vulnerable adult or facility resident with the management of his or her money or other items of value. 

For additional information, please review:

Client Rights and Alleged Perpetrator Rights
APS Mandatory Reporting Form

Adult Services Policy

To learn warning signs of adult abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation click here.


How do I make a report of abuse, neglect or exploitation?

Central Intake 9.JPG

Reports are made to Central Intake for Abuse and Neglect by calling 1-800-352-6513. 

For more information about reporting abuse, neglect and/or financial exploitation, visit the Central Intake Abuse and Neglect webpage.
Mandatory reporters of adult abuse, neglect, and/or financial exploitation must also complete an Adult Protective Services Mandatory Reporting Form within 48 hours of the verbal report. 


Am I protected if I make a report?

Under WV Code ยง9-6-12 persons making a report in good faith are immune from civil or criminal liability.

Please note, communications between a husband and wife to a mandated reporter about the abuse, neglect, and/or financial exploitation of an vulnerable adult is NOT privileged communication. The only privileged communication continues to be between an attorney and a client. 

If you believe a vulnerable adult is a victim of abuse, neglect, and/or financial exploitation, you shall immediately make a report.

In addition nursing homes and other residential facilities are prohibited from discharging or discriminating against a person who makes a report. Failure to comply with this prohibition could result in revocation or suspension of their license.

Is my report only reviewed by Adult Protective Services staff?

In certain instances, a report must also be sent to other parties, such as:

  • law enforcement agency and prosecuting attorney (in case of serious injury, death, or criminal allegations)

  • medical examiner or coroner (in case of death)

  • state or regional long-term care ombudsman (if alleged victim is resident of a nursing home or other residential facility)

  • facility administrator (if alleged victim is a resident of a nursing home or other residential facility)

Can I refuse Adult Protective Services?

APS workers uphold the right to self-determination of all clients. It is of the utmost importance to enhance capacity and allow vulnerable adults to address their own needs. When working with vulnerable adults, APS workers shall ensure that the adult's rights, as guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the West Virginia Constitution, are not infringed upon unnecessarily.

When a report of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult or facility resident is received and scheduled for investigation, the investigation is mandatory and cannot be refused by the alleged victim, caregiver or others.

After the investigation is complete, an adult who has decision-making capacity has the option of accepting or refusing services that may be offered.

What happens after the investigation?

The determination as to who meets the criteria for interventions through APS is made based on the information gathered and the conclusions drawn during the investigation phase of APS. Services are primarily case management and are short-term.

The criteria for the type of services are:

APS Case Management Services
The individual must meet all the following criteria simultaneously:
  1. The individual must be 18 years of age or an emancipated minor.
  2. The adult must meet the legal definition of vulnerable or be a facility resident.
  3. The adult is determined to have been abused, neglected and/or financially exploited. 
Whenever all criteria listed above are present, an Adult Protective Service situation will be substantiated, and a case opened for Adult Protective Services. Case management under Adult Protective Services may be provided for up to 12 months.
                Preventive APS Services
In some situations not all criteria for Adult Protective Services are met, however, it is probable some intervention is needed. In those situations the individual must meet the following criteria:  
  1. The individual must be 18 years of age or an emancipated minor.
  2. The adult must meet the legal definition of vulnerable or be a facility resident.
  3. It is probable the situation will develop into a full Adult Protective Services situation without some intervention.
Whenever the above criteria are present, an Adult Preventive Service case may be opened. Case management under Adult Preventive Services may be provided for up to 6 months.