Adult Protective Services (APS), formerly Protective Services for Adults (PSA), is a system of services provided without regard to income under the New York State Office of Children and Family Services for persons 18 or older, who, because of a mental and/or physical impairment, are at risk of harm or are unable to meet their own needs and have no one to assist them responsibly. In New York State, local social services departments have the primary responsibility to provide services to impaired adults who may be abused, neglected or exploited and are living in the community.
Every effort is made to keep individuals in the community, or in the least restrictive environment. In order to do that the Adult Protective Services workers collaborate with other community agencies that could provide needed services, such as health and mental health services, programs for the aging population, law enforcement, legal agencies and the courts. APS cannot usually provide services to a client who refuses them since adults have a right to make their own decisions. APS will intervene, however, if a person is at risk and unable to understand the potential harm and consequences. A mental health assessment and court intervention are required for involuntary services.
- Investigation and assessment of the adult's needs and risk of harm.
- Advocacy and case management services including arranging for medical and mental health assessments, applying for benefits (public assistance) and assuring coordinated delivery of services.
- Finding alternative living arrangements.
- Financial management services, including serving as representative payee.
- Homemaker and housekeeper services, within specified limits.
- Crisis interventions, such as securing access orders, involuntary protective service orders and orders of protection.
- Counseling for a victimized adult and his/her family.
- Long-term legal interventions, such as pursuing guardianship.
Referrals from professionals, community agencies or other concerned persons are essential to ensure those vulnerable adults are protected. Abused or neglected adults are often reluctant to seek help for themselves. Unless others call, these adults will remain at risk. Social Services Law provides immunity from civil liability to persons who, in good faith, make a referral concerning an adult who they believe may need protective services.
Call your local Department of Social Services
- Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., call the APS Intake Line (914) 995-2259
- Evenings after 4:30 p.m., holidays, and weekends, call Emergency Services (914) 995-2099
Calls can also be made to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) helpline for the Bureau of Adult Services, (844) 697-3505. New Yorkers will reach the state’s Human Services Call Center (HSCC), which can answer questions about adult services, provide contact information for local APS units, or take information to be sent to local APS units regarding abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adults. The phone lines are open Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In a medical or other emergency, always call 911.
For additional information, visit the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.