County Home |
Smaller Font Meter Size 1 Size 2 Size 3 Size 4 Size 5 Size 6 Larger

Values

Guiding Value: Every action taken by Adult Protective Services must balance the duty to protect the safety of the vulnerable adult with the adult’s right to self-determination.

Secondary Value: Older people and people with disabilities who are victims of abuse, exploitation or neglect should be treated with honesty, caring and respect.

Principles

  • Adults have the right to be safe.
  • Adults retain all their civil and constitutional rights unless some of these rights have been restricted by court action.
  • Adults have the right to make decisions that do not conform with societal norms as long as these decisions do not harm others.
  • Adults are presumed to have decision-making capacity unless a court adjudicates otherwise.
  • Adults have the right to accept or refuse services.

Practice Guidelines

  • Recognize that the interests of the adult are the first concern of any intervention.
  • Avoid imposing personal values on others.
  • Seek informed consent from the adult before providing services.
  • Respect the adult’s right to keep personal information confidential.
  • Recognize individual differences such as cultural, historical and personal values.
  • Honor the right of adults to receive information about their choices and options in a form or manner that they can understand.
  • To the best of your ability, involve the adult as much as possible in developing the service plan.
  • Focus on case planning that maximizes the vulnerable adult’s independence and choice to the extent possible based on the adult’s capacity.
  • Use the least restrictive services first—community based services rather than institutionally based services whenever possible.
  • Use family and informal support systems first as long as this is in the best interest of the adult.
  • Maintain clear and appropriate professional boundaries.
  • In the absence of an adult’s expressed wishes, support casework actions that are in the adult’s best interest.
  • Use substituted judgment in case planning when historical knowledge of the adult’s values is available.
  • Do no harm. Inadequate or inappropriate intervention may be worse than no intervention.
Reprinted with permission from the National Adult Protective Services Association