Adult Protective Services in Georgia is responsible for protecting seniors and other vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect. In 2020, the state conducted an audit of the agency and uncovered numerous issues with the way it handles cases. However, the agency appears to have implemented changes to provide better services.
The audit and improvements
Adult Protective Services (APS) is a part of the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services, and it handles tens of thousands of cases each year. Among the issues identified by the audit include the following:
- Allegations of abuse and neglect
- Slow response times for investigators
- Staffers rejecting reports that needed investigating
- During a single year, around 500 adults in desperate need of services had to wait three days or more for an investigator to arrive and handle their cases.
In response, APS has implemented important changes in the way it handles cases. Among the modifications include an enhanced system designed to streamline the report intake process and expedite investigations. Along with the report acceleration process, APS also implemented additional checks to ensure staffers are documenting their cases properly.
Other improvements include a system that tracks and reports data from the initial intake call to the time the individual has face-to-face contact with an investigator. They have also begun training managers to review their reports monthly. APS has also tried to improve its relationship with law enforcements and other professionals and agencies that are required to report abuse of the elderly and disabled.
Elder abuse is a serious issue in Georgia, and the changes APS has implemented is a step in the right direction. Along with reporting allegations of abuse or neglect to APS, those dealing with issues involving a senior or disabled adult should reach out to an elder law attorney for assistance. A lawyer can help the victim and their family hold the offenders accountable while helping to ensure Adult Protective Services responds to the matter in a timely fashion.