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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Allies not Adversaries – Developing Collaboration between Centers for Independent Living and Adult Protective Services

Whereas, violence and abuse against individuals with disabilities occurs at a much higher rate than for individuals without disabilities;

Whereas, Adult Protective Services investigators (sometimes called caseworkers) are often the first responders to reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of adults with disabilities;

Whereas, the current structure of Adult Protective Services, including the type of abuse it responds to; the population it protects; the people required to report; and the type and quality of the response varies from state to state;

Whereas, this inconsistency creates confusion for service providers, it also creates an atmosphere of fear and mistrust for people with disabilities; and

Whereas, an inadequate response by Adult Protective Services can put the victim in further danger from the abuser, it can also result in the victim being re-victimized by the service system charged with protecting them; 

Be it therefore resolved: that NCIL recognizes the need for a national model of Adult Protective Services that will eliminate confusion, fear and mistrust; that will embrace a trauma informed response to abuse to serve victims with disabilities with respect and compassion.

Be it further resolved: that NCIL will seek to collaborate with the Administration for Community Living to address concerns around Adult Protective Services and will encourage its membership to work collaboratively with their local/state Adult Protective Services; and

Be it finally resolved: the NCIL Subcommittee on Violence and Abuse of People with Disabilities will provide NCIL and its membership with guidance and support in this effort.