Role in the Community
Adult Protective Services Role in the Community
The role of Park County Department of Human Services’ Adult Protective Services (APS) program is to prevent and stop the abuse, exploitation, and self-neglect of at-risk adults. At-risk adults are people who are 18 years old and older who cannot obtain services necessary for their health, safety, or welfare, or lack the understanding or ability to make or communicate responsible decisions.
While APS’ main responsibility is to provide protective services to at-risk adults, there are limitations to the protective services APS can provide. Because adults have rights, they may choose to refuse help from APS - even when they appear to need it.
APS only receives small amount of state funding for protective services that an at-risk adult may need to be safe, such as shelter, food, medication, utility payments, or transportation. APS must rely on services provided by Medicaid, Medicare, community based organizations, and the adult’s friends and family to help.
APS is also responsible for educating the community about issues relating to at-risk adults. Educational activities focus on preventing the mistreatment and self-neglect of at-risk adults through seminars, community events, newspaper articles, brochures, community outreach, and fraud alerts.
APS also works with Adult Protection (AP) teams made up of representatives from various professions and agencies that are committed to protecting at-risk adults. AP Team members meet Quarterly to review APS cases for quality and discuss additional services to protect at-risk adults. The role of AP Team members is advisory only and all members are required to keep APS information confidential.
Beginning July 1, 2016 members of certain professional groups will be required to report the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of at-risk adults with IDD to law enforcement within 24 hours, in addition to reporting mistreatment of at-risk elders which was made mandatory in 2014. At risk adults with IDD are individuals 18 years of age or older who have an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) resulting in impairment to intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior. At-risk elders are people who are age 70 years old or older. These professional groups include doctors, dentists, nurses, home health providers, and adult care facility staff, emergency responders, clergy members, financial institutions staff, and many others. Mandatory reporters who fail to report an incident in 24 hours may be charged with a class III misdemeanor. For more information, please visit ColoradoAPS.com.
Individuals who are not mandatory reporters are urged to report mistreatment or self-neglect of at-risk adults to the Park County Department of Human Services at 303-816-5932 X4. Ask to speak to Adult Protection Intake. If calling about an emergency situation during non-business hours, contact 719-836-4121 X 5 or call 911 to make the report.
All reports to Adult Protective Services are confidential and can be made anonymously. However, it is helpful to APS if you provide your contact information so APS can contact you, if needed.