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Administration on Aging (AoA)

Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State APS Systems

Final Voluntary Consensus Guidelines (PDF, 1MB)

ACL envisions a comprehensive, multidisciplinary system that effectively supports older adults and adults with disabilities so they can exercise their right to live where they choose, with the people they choose and fully participate in their communities without threat of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation. Adult Protective Services (APS) systems play a critical role in addressing the abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and financial exploitation too often faced by older adults and adults with disabilities.

ACL is committed to supporting states in developing effective APS systems that ensure adults are afforded similar protections and services, regardless of their state or jurisdiction. Historically, there has been no federal “home” for APS nor a designated federal appropriation for this critically important service. Instead, states and local agencies have developed a wide variety of APS practices, resulting in significant variations between and sometimes within states. Strong federal leadership in addressing maltreatment of older adults and adults with disabilities must include a commitment to bolstering and assisting the APS system in responding to victims in the most effective and consistent way possible.

ACL facilitated the development of the Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State APS Systems to assist states in developing efficient and effective APS systems. Overall, the Guidelines are designed to provide State APS Administrators with recommendations from the field about quality APS practice. There are several ways that states may choose to utilize the Guidelines. For instance, some states can use the Guidelines as a model of comparison to existing APS systems offered, to identify new areas of interest, or to identify areas for improvement in their state statutes or policies.

The Final Guidelines do not constitute any standard or regulation, and will not create any new legal obligations, nor impose any mandates or requirements. They will not create nor confer any rights for, or on, any person.

ACL intends to re-visit and update the guidelines every two years. The guidelines will inform ACL on many of the current priority issues in the area of APS that ACL can focus on through its other programs, including the National APS Technical Assistance Resource Center and the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System.

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Last Modified: 2/10/2017