Indiana Adult Protective Services Seek Funding for Upgrades
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers are being asked to provide more funding for Adult Protective Services, and there's an effort to get all the agencies involved to collaborate on how that money would be spent.
A report by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and the state's Prosecuting Attorneys Council calls for changes, including emergency short-term placement for endangered adults, a 24/7 hotline, technology upgrades and more staff and training.
David Powell, executive director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, says the council has to stretch manpower to investigate every case of abuse, neglect and exploitation that is reported.
"We know that this workload is going to grow,” he states. “We have been asking for increased funding. We have felt like there is more work than we have the capability to respond to at times, because you know, these 18 hubs cover the entire state of Indiana."
Indiana is the only state in the nation with its criminal justice system in charge of Adult Protective Services. There are about 40 investigators in 18 offices or hubs, to look into abuse cases reported in all 92 counties in the state.
At the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, CEO Kristen LaEace says most of these types of cases aren't criminal, but the result of older adults not being able to fully care for themselves.
She urges that funding be directed to social service agencies that can help them.
"Really, what needs to happen is that we need to get services into that situation,” she explains. “You know, there's just not a crime to investigate in the majority of the cases."
Ambre Marr, state legislative director at AARP Indiana, says it's a good time to talk about how the recommendations made in the most recent report would be put into place if additional funding is allocated.
"While we are super excited that there has been a pretty large increase in funding, we just want to make sure that that funding coincides with the ideas that they stressed in the report," she states.