DHS Adult Protection Newsletter - May 2020

Minnesota Department of Human Services logo

DHS Adult Protection Newsletter

Adult Protection - Aging and Adult Services

dhs.adultprotection@state.mn.us - (651) 431-2609

May 2020

Promoting safety and well-being of vulnerable adults. 


Using hand sanitizer on hands

Reduce Visits, Not Services

DHS provided policy and practice guidance for APS to conduct face-to-face interviews only when there is no other method to meet a critical health and safety need of the vulnerable adult. It is important to continue to assess needs, safety plan, and offer APS in appropriate cases. Limiting face-to-face interactions creates additional challenges to assessment, engagement, and interventions. APS is up to this challenge. Here are some practice tips:

  • Use Reliable Collaterals
  • Coordinate with Partners: LIA’s, Ombudsman, Providers, Law Enforcement, Domestic Violence Advocates, Community Organizations, Informal Supports
  • Employ Phone, Video, Physical Barriers like Windows, and Other Technology to Engage and Assess

These are extraordinary times. Continued flexibility and creativity are vital to ensure personal safety for the client, worker, and community. Kindness, patience, ethical practices, and following public health advice will get us through this time. Take care!

SSIS COVID-19 Activity Code:

Use of the SSIS COVID-19 subservice code for activities associated with COVID-19  supports identification of impacts of COVID-19 on the maltreatment of vulnerable adults. This data will be useful for policy and planning.

APS and COVID-19

Communications from DHS Adult Protection Unit regarding COVID-19 and Impacts on Adult Protective Services are collected on the DHS Adult Protection Partners and Providers web page under the "News" section.  

♦ DHS Adult Protection Resource Specialists (APRS) are available for case consultation. Reach them at 651-431-2609 or dhs.adultprotection@state.mn.us.


♦ COVID-19 Expanded Service Capacity - meals, grocery and prescription delivery services, telephone reassurance and energy assistance programs have expanded eligibility and service capacity associated with COVID-19 emergency funding. Access services through Senior LinkAge Line or Disability Hub.

Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 or https://seniorlinkageline.com/ and HelpOlderAdultsMN.org 

Disability Hub at 1-866-333-2566 or https://disabilityhubmn.org/

Low Income Energy Assistance Program at https://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/consumer-assistance/energy-assistance/

The Senior LinkAge Line and Disability Hub continue to be resources for APS and to refer MAARC reporters, vulnerable adults without case managers, primary support persons and informal supports for vulnerable during the COVID-19 situation. These services help identify resources and make connections with alternative services, if someone’s provider or support network has changed or temporarily stopped providing services. Resources are also available for telephone reassurance and friendly visitors to support people who are isolated during COVID-19. Service requests that do not result in a provider referral are noted to identify areas that need support to develop increased service capacity during COVID-19.

The Minnesota Board on Aging (MBA), Minnesota’s Area Agencies on Aging and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) are working closely together to share information and ensure that all parts of the state have the resources they need to support older Minnesotans and caregivers.

Minnesota COVID-19 Response - Mental Health Support website listing resources

Administration for Community Living (ACL)  APS Technical Assistance and Resource Center (TARC) COVID-19 Education Brief

To find the most up-to-date information for providers, counties, tribes and members of the public, visit the DHS COVID-19 website.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 website

Minnesota Covid-19 Response - Coronavirus Disease in Minnesota https://mn.gov/covid19/

For the latest information on MN public health recommendations, visit MDH COVID-19 webpage

COVID-19 Hotline:

Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

APS, Did You Know?

ceramic frog

♦ Vulnerable Adult Act (VAA) Redesign Update

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the World Café event has been canceled. Minnesota’s Management Analysis and Development (MAD) Division and the Department of Human Services (DHS) will work to identify next steps in the VAA Redesign process, including an opportunity for stakeholders to review and react to recommendations resulting from the Solution Groups process.

Please visit the VAA Redesign website for additional information and updates as we move forward with this important project.

♦ Bouncing Reports: Communication is Key!

People live their lives across geographic lines and outside the responsibility of caregivers. Communication across lead investigative agencies, counties, and tribes is necessary for the protection of vulnerable adults and for investigation of maltreatment allegations.

When a report is county jurisdiction, the lead investigative agency (LIA) is determined based on the physical location of the vulnerable adult (VA) at the time the report is taken. If the report involves multiple locations, the county LIA must coordinate with the new county, where the VA will be/is currently located, for protective services and investigation. The LIA may request the new county accept the report as the LIA. If the LIA and the requested county agree to change the LIA jurisdiction, the report is bounced by the county who initially received the report with “Another county accepts jurisdiction” as the bounce reason and then selects “County accepting.” Bouncing a report to another county without communication delays the report being screened which delays protection to the VA.

Visit Adult Protection and the Social Service Information System (SSIS) Information and Frequently Asked Questions on County Link for further guidance regarding bouncing reports.

Vulnerable Adult Protection Dashboard

Data are important! Data help policy makers and the public understand the nature and scope of an issue. In the case of adult protection, data provide a basis to understand if vulnerable adults are treated fairly and justly in our state. Data can impact program evaluation, benchmarks for quality and performance outcomes, budget planning and resource allocation, and inform evidenced based prevention and remediation/service response for vulnerable adults who have been maltreated.

“Data really powers everything that we do.”
― Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn

DHS Adult Protection Data Dashboard can help identify trends and provides a useful trove of information. Check it out!  MN DHS Vulnerable Adult Protection Dashboard 

In addition to the dashboard, DHS Adult Protection Unit will send weekly data trend emails to APS supervisors and workers via GovDelivery during the COVID-19 crisis. These communications will also be posted on the DHS Adult Protection/Partners and Providers/Adult Protection website under "News - COVID-19 and Impacts on Adult Protective Services" section in an effort to provide data on the impact of COVID-19 on APS in Minnesota.

Below is and example of the weekly data trend information:

County LIA Reports and Investigations Trends 2017-2019

DHS Adult Protection Trainings and Events

tree roots lutsen

TRAINING UPDATE: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we are working to create a virtual training option for the APS Foundations course and other online training opportunities to support APS workers meeting education requirements for APS under 626.557 Subd. 9e.

APS Foundations

APS Foundations is intended for new adult protection workers and supervisors, or adult protection workers and supervisors seeking a foundations refresher. Minnesota DHS Adult Protection offers the APS Foundations training to support APS workers meeting education requirements for APS under 626.557 Subd. 9e. APS Foundations supports consistency in service response and outcomes for vulnerable adults regardless of their location in Minnesota and addresses core competency training recommendations in the ACL Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State APS Systems. APS partners (county attorneys, law enforcement, etc.) may attend the training upon request.

2 Day In-Person Course:

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, in-person training sessions have been canceled through July, 2020. We will determine viability of future in-person training sessions as necessary. See the Eventbrite links below for more detailed information and event registration. Eventbrite registration password is "APSFoundations" 

CANCELED Jun 11-12, 2020 - Detroit Lakes - APS Foundations (2 days)

Aug 12-13, 2020 - Marshall - APS Foundations (2 days)

Oct 14-15, 2020 - Andover - APS Foundations (2 days)

Virtual Course:

We are working to create a virtual training option for the APS Foundations course, and will share information about future offerings as soon as possible. Updates will be posted to the Adult Protection Unit website and communicated via GovDelivery messages.    

If you have any questions, please contact Peter Larson at peter.larson@state.mn.us

MN DHS Training on YouTube

DHS Adult Protection has posted the Adult Proteciton Investigation Determinations video conference from 9/12/19 on YouTube. Click the link to see Adult Protection Resource Specialists Kelli Klein and Angelo Flowers explore AP Investigation Determinations.

SSIS Adult Protection Worker Training

Please visit their CountyLink page for more information about upcoming sessions.

SSIS Adult Maltreatment Module has been updated with helpful tips, screen shots and field/use descriptions that include functionality through 20.1 release. SSIS Essentials eLearning modules are also a great APS resource.

Our goal for the DHS Adult Protection Newsletter is to share knowledge specific to adult protection work in Minnesota, answer common questions regarding adult protection work in Minnesota, and provide awareness of DHS Adult Protection training opportunities. Please contact us with any questions or concerns at dhs.adultprotection@state.mn.us or (651) 431-2609

For more information about DHS Adult Protection, please visit us online DHS AP: Program Overview