In 1985, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law establishing Adult Protective Service (APS) Units to protect endangered adults in Indiana and to provide protective services to these individuals. (Indiana Code 12-10-3)
What is an Endangered Adult?
An endangered adult is an individual who is eighteen (18) years of age or older who:
- is incapable by reason of mental illness, mental retardation, dementia, habitual drunkenness, excessive use of drugs, or other physical or mental incapacity of managing or directing the management of the individual's property or providing or directing the provision of self-care; and
- is harmed or threatened with harm as a result of neglect, battery and/or exploitation of personal services or property.
What are Protective Services?
The investigator will utilize available legal, medical, psychiatric, residential and social services that are necessary to protect the health and safety of an endangered adult. These may include the Area Agency on Aging, hospitals, mental health centers, agencies serving individuals with mental retardation and developmental disabilities and residential facilities in the three county area.
Duty to Report Endangered Adults
An individual who believes or has reason to believe that another individual is an endangered adult and is the victim of battery, abuse, or exploitation is required by law to make a report to law enforcement, Adult Protective Services or through the APS Hotline 1-800-992-6978. Failure to report may result in a fine of up to $10,000.
Immunity from Civil Liability for a Person Making a Report or Testifying
A person who in good faith makes a report of an endangered adult, or testifies at administrative or judicial proceedings on matters arising from the report, is immune from both civil and criminal liability for doing so and an employer may not reduce benefits or otherwise retaliate against them.