Saturday, January 14, 2023: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Hospitality 4 - Room 428, 4th Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Aging Services and Gerontology
Raphael Gaeta, PhD, New Editions Consulting, Inc.
Mary Twomey, MSW, New Editions Consulting, Inc.
Symposium Theme and Importance: The theme of this symposium is Adult Protective Services (APS) client outcomes. APS programs are provided by state and local governments across the United States to serve older adults and adults with disabilities facing abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation ("maltreatment"). Although APS programs are designed and run differently across the country, they commonly provide the following services: investigating reports of adult maltreatment; case planning and monitoring; and providing or arranging for protective, emergency, or support services. In 2020, APS programs nationwide received a total of over 1.3 million reports of alleged maltreatment. From these reports, 258,389 individuals had a substantiated investigation (i.e., there was sufficient evidence to determine that the individual was a victim of maltreatment). APS programs work closely with clients, and a wide variety of allied professionals, to address safety needs while maximizing independence and respecting each client's right to self-determination. Despite the ubiquity of APS programs and their important role in meeting the needs of older adults and adults with disabilities who face maltreatment, there is limited research examining the impact of APS programs on client outcomes. This is due in part to the decentralized nature of APS, wide variation in APS program design and implementation, lack of consensus in the APS field about what constitutes APS client outcomes, and limited national data on APS. To help address this gap, the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) Office for Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services (OEJAPS) funded the design and implementation of the APS Client Outcomes Study. The purpose of the APS Client Outcome Study was to examine if and how APS programs make a difference in the lives of clients with regard to their satisfaction, safety/risk, and well-being. The study followed a mixed-methods approach. The three papers that will be included in this symposium correspond to the three major methods used in the study: (1) survey data collection with APS workers and clients, (2) semi-structured interviews and focus groups with APS leaders, workers, and clients, and (3) secondary analysis of the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS) dataset. Each of the study methods provided different evidence about APS client outcomes. However, some common themes emerged from across methods: Most APS clients are satisfied with APS and feel like they're safer and/or their life is better because of the help they received from APS; Positive APS client outcomes are driven primarily by client's recognizing they need help, a strong client-worker relationship, and client's receiving all the services they need; Self-neglect poses unique challenges to achieving positive client outcomes; Recurrence can occur for different reasons and is not necessarily a bad thing; APS responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by adapting policies and procedures to reduce contagion, some evidence suggests this made it more difficult for APS programs to achieve positive client outcomes.
* noted as presenting author
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