Adult Protective Services

DHS Service: Adult Protective Services

This program serves persons aged 18 or over who lack the physical or mental capacity to provide for their daily needs. The purpose of the program is to prevent or remedy the abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation of adults who are unable to protect their own interests and are at risk of immediate harm to their own person or to others. The program provides professional services to protect the health, safety, and welfare of endangered, vulnerable adults.

Under the law any banking institution, in cases of financial exploitation, health practitioner, police officer, or human service worker who has reason to believe that a vulnerable adult is in danger is required to report that fact to the local department of social services. Any concerned person may also make such a report. In addition, employees of banking institutions are also required by state law to report suspected incidences of financial exploitation of an elderly person.

Persons who report suspected incidents of abuse and neglect are protected under the law. Section 14-309 of the Family Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, states “any person who in good faith makes or participates in making a report under this subtitle or participates in an investigation or a judicial proceeding resulting from a report under this subtitle is immune from any civil liability that would otherwise result.”

View the Adult Protective Services Brochure .