Arizona Adult Protective Services (APS) investigates reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults. APS may also become involved when there is a claim of self-neglect which is when an adult with physical or mental impairments is not able to meet their basic needs (such as food, shelter, health care, managing money, etc.) which then impacts the adult’s physical health, mental health or general safety. The goal of APS is to prioritize an adult’s right to make their own decisions while keeping them safe.
APS tries to support the vulnerable adults in their current home, and to augment the skills they need to take care of themselves by providing services that can help with challenges the adult may be having. However, APS must always balance the need to protect the safety of the vulnerable adult with the adult’s right to make their own decisions.
APS does not conduct safety checks, but local law enforcement does. Law enforcement and APS work together and if law enforcement believes an individual is a vulnerable adult, they will contact APS.
Living and Environmental Indicators:
You can report online or by phone Monday - Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays and state holidays 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The APS online reporting form is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. This website's security is permissible under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which allows covered entities to file reports of adult abuse, neglect (including self-neglect) or exploitation, as mandated by state law. The reporter may print the report just prior to submitting it. Once submitted, the reporter cannot access the report.
There are other entities that also report to APS. See the APS flow chart to see how a report is received—from when a report is made through the investigation, and what happens after.
APS does not investigate issues with licensed or unlicensed facilities. Complaints can be submitted online any time of the day or night to the Arizona Department of Health Services, or by calling (602) 364-2536 Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m..
The APS online reporting form is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Tips for using online reporting:
Access the APS online Abuse / Neglect / Exploitation Form
If you close this window prior to submitting the form, your information will be lost and you will have to start over.
See the APS flow chart to see how a report is received—from when a report is made through the investigation, and what happens after.
When making a report to APS, the reporter will be asked the following questions:
The purpose of an APS investigation is to verify through personal contact, the vulnerable adult’s physical and mental status, along with how they live, their support system (family and friends), and strengths. The allegations of abuse, exploitation, or neglect (including self-neglect) are investigated and a plan is created with the help of the vulnerable adult or the vulnerable adult’s representative.
Often, people who report believe that because they made the report to APS, they are entitled to the investigation status; however, this is not true. The person who reports does not receive updates throughout the investigation. APS report information is confidential and can only be released under the exceptions provided under A.R.S. § 46-460.
The appointment of a Guardian/Conservator may be suggested if an adult is found to be unable to make or communicate decisions. It is the responsibility of the Guardian/Conservator to manage the estate in their ward’s best interest. If an adult requires long-term care, they may be required to meet income criteria for certain services, including nursing home placement. Please visit AHCCCS for more information regarding the Arizona Long-Term Care System.
If an individual's mental or physical capacity is in question, APS may have the adult evaluated by a physician who will decide whether the adult can make their own decisions. The process to “declare” someone incapacitated requires court action. If the physician says that the adult can no longer make decisions and manage on their own, the case will be referred for the petitioning of a guardian/conservator. The judge will use the physician’s evaluation to make their decision and may appoint the Public/Private Fiduciary or other person(s) able and willing to serve. However, if the physician’s decision indicates that the adult can make their own decisions, the adult cannot be declared incompetent at that time.
If you suspect someone with developmental disabilities is being abused, you must first know their age. If the suspected victim is 17 years of age or younger, this needs to be reported to the Arizona Department of Child Safety. If the person is 18 years of age or older, reporting must go through Adult Protective Services.
*Please note: not all people with developmental disabilities are considered vulnerable. Please see the APS definition of a vulnerable adult.
|Quarterly Report||Fiscal Year|
|APS Cases with Developmental Disabilities Cases - April to June 2021||SFY2021|
|APS Cases with Developmental Disabilities Cases - January to March 2021||SFY2021|
|APS Cases with Developmental Disabilities Cases - October to December 2020||SFY2021|
|APS Cases with Developmental Disabilities Cases - July to September 2020||SFY2021|
|APS Cases with Developmental Disabilities Cases - April to June 2020||SFY2020|
|APS Cases with Developmental Disabilities Cases - January to March 2020||SFY2020|
|APS Cases with Developmental Disabilities Cases - October to December 2019||SFY2020|
|APS Cases with Developmental Disabilities Cases - July to September 2019||SFY2020|
|APS Cases with Developmental Disabilities Cases - January to March 2019||SFY2019|
|APS Cases with Developmental Disabilities Cases - April to June 2019||SFY2019|
Details of the case may be shared if the case ends up in court. However, APS follows the Arizona Confidentiality Statute, A.R.S. § 46-460, and does not release information unless specified by the statute. For example, employees of the Department of Economic Security may release any information that is otherwise held confidential in certain circumstances, but they may not release the reporting source's identity.
Family caregivers provide most of the assistance that enables older Arizonans and those with disabilities to live independently in their homes and communities. Caregivers can also include grandparents raising grandchildren. Learn more about the DES Family Caregiver Support Program.