Effective November 1, 2017, APS will no longer accept fax, mail, or walk-in reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults. APS will continue to accept phone reports Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, Sunday and state holidays 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (1-877-SOS-ADULT/1-877-767-2385). Online reports are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at www.azdes.gov/reportadultabuse.
Every year in Arizona, DES receives thousands of reports alleging that a vulnerable adult (people 18 years of age and older) are the victims of neglect, abuse or exploitation.
The most common of these allegations involve self-neglect situations where the adult’s safety or well-being is being compromised by their inability to take care of their basic needs, their medical needs, their finances, their home environment or their personal hygiene. In other cases, vulnerable adults may be the victims of neglect, financial exploitation or physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
Adult Protective Services can help. Working in partnership with law enforcement, the courts and community based service providers, APS can assist in facilitating services and supports that help protect vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect or exploitation, and help them live as independently as possible.
Adult Protective Services Registry
In 2006, Arizona’s legislature passed a bill to create the Adult Protective Services Registry (APS Registry) that took effect July 1, 2007, and applies to reports received by APS on or after that date. Alleged perpetrators are provided due process through administrative appeals prior to having their name added to the APS Registry. When APS proposes to substantiate allegations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, statute requires APS to notify the alleged perpetrator of the proposed finding and inform him/her of the right to an administrative hearing before an administrative law judge. If the alleged perpetrator declines his/her right to an administrative hearing, his/her name is placed on the APS registry.
If a hearing is requested, the administrative law judge makes a recommended finding using the preponderance of evidence burden of proof, per A.R.S. § 46-458. That recommended finding may be upheld, amended, or rejected by the Director of the Department. When the proposed substantiation is upheld through the hearing process, the perpetrator’s name is placed on the APS Registry.
When another court or administrative law judge has already made findings regarding the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation, a perpetrator is ineligible for an administrative hearing from APS. Once those findings are made, the perpetrator is placed on the APS Registry.
If the perpetrator’s name was placed on the APS Registry prior to July 3, 2015, his/her name will remain on the registry for 10 years. If the perpetrator’s name was placed on the registry after July 3, 2015, his/her name will remain on the APS Registry for 25 years.