Protective Services for Adults   

Protective Services for Adults

Individuals most often referred to this unit are among the most debilitated and neglected members of the community: the frail elderly, the mentally ill, the mentally retarded and the abused and exploited. These persons are often not known to any agency or have refused services and are isolated from family and friends.    Once the Department receives a protective referral, an investigation commences.   If a determination is made the person is in need of assistance, a caseworker is assigned.  Typical Protective Services for Adults service provides for support and compass:

     - Investigation of reports of financial exploitation, abuse/neglect or domestic violence,
     - Assistance with daily living tasks such as shopping and transportation,
     - Assistance in obtaining benefits such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, Social Security 
       and Supplemental Security Income, HEAP, Temporary Assistance,  and arranging
       for supportive services,
     - Management of client's finances (if appropriate) to ensure  that  their income and
       resources are protected and financial  responsibilities are met.
     - Residential placement services for adults to assist adults who need supervised

       living to find appropriate housing. Residential placement services are provided to
       people 18 years of age or older who are  mentally and/or physically impaired, in
       need of a supervised living  situation and who meet specified income levels. Staff
       can assist with  accessing  a  family-type adult home, an adult home or a nursing 
       home  placement. 

Information and Referral -

When the Protective Services for Adults unit conducts a investigation and it s determined that the indivdiual does not need ongoing services, but would benefit from short term Help, the PSA unit can provide such services. A formal case opening may not be required.   Usually, the person is experiencing a life crisis of some sort and needs assistance in connecting with available community resources.  The caseworker can help the person by providing the information and assisting in the application process where needed.  This service is usually provided within the first 60 days of receiving a referral.


If, during the course of a Protective Services referral  investigation,  questions arise about the adult's mental capacity,  a mental health evaluation will be pursued to determine if court-ordered interventions should be provided.   If a Doctor determines that an individual is incapable of understanding  risk and chooses to stay in an abusive or neglectful situation, and no other appropriate responsible adult can be located, the Department can petition the court to become the legal guardian.  

Under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene  Law, the Court may be petitioned for the appointment of a guardian for an alleged incapacitated person. The Court  may appoint a guardian if it  has been determined that it is  necessary to manage the personal and/or financial affairs of  the person. The Commissioner of Family Services can be appointed legal guardian.

  For further information go to: