Who should report?
It is the law that any person with reasonable cause to believe that a disabled person is in need of Protective Services must make a report to the Department of Social Services(N.C.G.S 108A-102). The reporter's identity is kept confidential.
This statute was initiated to protect the increasing number of disabled adults in North Carolina who are being abused, neglected or exploited.
The statue requires that anyone having reason to believe that a disabled person is in need of protective services shall report such information to the Director of the Department of Social Services (DSS).
How are reports made?
Telephone, write, or visit Cabarrus County Department of Social Services when you have information about a disabled adult being abused, neglected, or exploited.
You can call 704-920-1400 at the Cabarrus County Department of Social Services between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Monday through Friday.
In the event of an emergency after 5:00 pm weekdays, on weekends, and holidays you may call the Cabarrus County Sheriff's Department at (704) 920-3000. You may also make the report in writing. You may remain anonymous, but we encourage you to give us your name in the event we need additional information. The APS statute prohibits us from giving the reporter's name.
The social worker will ask questions such as but not limited to adult's name, address, age/date of birth, Social Security number. family/collateral names, how is the person disabled, what are the allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
The questions asked are important to assure that all appropriate services are made available to the adult.
To accept the referral for Adult Protective Services (APS) the information provided must state:
- The adult is physically or mentally incapacitated
- The adult is being abused, neglected or exploited
- The adult is need of protection
This specific criteria is important because APS, unlike other services provided by Social Services is initiated without the consent of the adult.
When a report is received for Adult Protective Services, a social worker will be assigned the case. The social worker will respond to the report from immediately to 72 hours, depending on the seriousness of the situation.
A social worker is responsible for assessment of the situation and determining the need for the protection. The assessment includes evaluating six areas:
- Physical Health
- Mental Health
- Social Support
- Activities of Daily Living
- Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
- Financial Support
- Physical Environment
During the course of the evaluation, the social worker will talk with the adult, collaterals, and use whatever resources are necessary to determine whether the adult is in need of protection.
It is important to note that at the end of the assessment the most basic tenet of Adult Protective Service is the right to self-determination. This means that:
- As long as the adult recognizes the consequences of decisions they make about their life, the right to make those decisions must be respected.
- If the adult is unable to recognize the consequences of his/her decisions due to mental illness, intellectual disability, Alzheimer's, dementia or other cognitive limitations and there is no other responsible party to protect the adult, DSS is responsible for providing that protection.
Adult Protective Services include:
- Initial contact within 24 to 72 hours
- Private interview with adult
- Assessment of all functional areas of the adult's life
- Collateral contact (with persons having information about the adult)
- Decision of need
- A protective plan if needed
- Referral to appropriate services
Concerns about a disabled person? call 704-920-1400 to submit a report