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adult protective services

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The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is seeking input on a proposed rule to establish the first-ever federal regulations for adult protective services (APS) programs. Instructions for submitting comments and registering for an informational webinar can be found on ACL’s website and below.

APS programs across the country support older adults and adults with disabilities who experience, or who are at risk of, abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation. APS programs investigate reports of maltreatment; conduct case planning, monitoring, and evaluation, and provide, or connect people who have experienced maltreatment to, a variety of medical, social service, economic, legal, housing, law enforcement, and other protective, emergency, or support services to help them recover. Over the past decade, ACL has led federal efforts to support the critical work of APS programs through a variety of initiatives.

First-Ever Federal Regulations for APS

The proposed rule aims to improve consistency and quality of APS services across states and support the national network that delivers APS services, with the ultimate goal of better meeting the needs of adults who experience or are at risk of maltreatment. To those ends, the proposed rule:

  • Establishes a set of national standards for the operation of APS programs that all state APS systems must meet. These standards formalize — and build upon — the existing National Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State APS Systems.
  • Establishes common definitions for the national APS system to improve information sharing, data collection, and standardization between and within states.
  • Requires state APS systems to develop policies and procedures, consistent with state law, for coordination and sharing of information to facilitate investigations with other entities, such as state law enforcement agencies and state Medicaid agencies.
  • Requires state policies and procedures to be person-directed and based on concepts of least restrictive alternatives.
  • Establishes requirements for data collection, retention, and reporting.
  • Establishes requirements for mandatory staff training and ongoing education on core competencies for APS staff and supervisors.

ACL has created a fact sheet with highlights of key provisions of the rule, and the full text of the proposed rule can be found on the Federal Register website.

Input Needed

The proposed rule is the culmination of many years of engagement with stakeholders from APS and long-term care ombudsman programs, as well as disability advocates, from across the country. It also reflects input received through several listening sessions, extensive research, and analysis of data from a 2021 survey of 51 APS systems, ACL’s National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System, and policy profiles from APS programs in all states and territories.

ACL now seeks feedback on the proposed rule from all who are interested in improving implementation of APS programs and services. Input from the aging and disability networks and the people served by APS programs is particularly crucial.

Comments will be accepted for 60 days, beginning when the proposed rule is officially published in the Federal Register (which currently is scheduled for Tuesday, September 12). Instructions for commenting, along with the comment deadline, can be found in the Federal Register notice and on ACL’s website.

An informational webinar will be held on Monday, September 18, at 11:30 am ET. Advance registration is required.

For additional questions, contact Fady Sahhar.

A proposed regulation related to Adult Protective Services is currently posted on the Independent Regulatory Review Commission’s (IRRC) website. This proposed regulation “identifies mandatory reporters and prescribes penalties for their failure to report suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment; requires consistent and timely investigations of allegations; and when necessary, provides for protective services to mitigate risk to individuals.”

The public comment period has started and will end on May 22, 2023. Please take the opportunity to review the proposed regulation and submit any comments that you may have following the processes outlined within the timeframe allotted. Consider sharing your thoughts with Carol Ferenz or your policy division director by May 19, 2023, for inclusion in RCPA’s comments.

The Department of Human Services/Bureau of Adult Protective Services is offering trainings/webinars for Adult Protective Services. 

Complete online registration at the Survey Monkey LINK below.
Please feel free to share this information with other staff and providers.

With new webinar software we have twice as many logins available and will hopefully be able to accommodate all requests.

Adult Protective Services and Mandatory Reporting Requirements

How: Webinar and In-Person Attendance available
Where: Clothes Tree Building, DGS Complex (former Harrisburg State Hospital Campus)
What: Overview of Act 70, Adult Protective Services Law, eligibility criteria, DHS and Liberty Healthcare Responsibilities; the process for reporting,  mandatory reporting requirements, and statutory definitions.


  • Thursday, February 25 at 1:00 pm
  • Tuesday, March 15 at 10:00 am

Complete the online registration survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DHS_APS_Training

Information and webinar link will be sent prior to the presentation. Contact Deborah Bender at debbender@pa.gov with any questions or concerns.