DHS Adult Protection Newsletter - Apr 30, 2021

Minnesota Department of Human Services logo

DHS Adult Protection Newsletter

Adult Protection - Aging and Adult Services

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

April 30, 2021

In this issue:

RentHelpMN: COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance

RentHelpMN is a new support for Minnesotans who have experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic. RentHelpMN makes it possible for eligible renters to get caught up on overdue rent and utilities dating back to March 13, 2020. It also makes provisions for those at risk of falling behind on rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit renthelpmn.org to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements and to apply.

To apply for RentHelpMN, please visit renthelpmn.org or call 211. The 211 helpline has dedicated multilingual staff available to answer questions about RentHelpMN, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Please share this COVID-19 emergency rental assistance opportunity. Those who qualify could receive help with rent and utility bills for up to 15 months.

Emergency Adult Protective Services (EPS) Immediate Protections

Elderly woman alone looking out window

Emergency Adult Protective Services (EPS) notifications are made by the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC) to protect the life, health or safety of a vulnerable adult and prevent serious harm from ongoing maltreatment. Notifications to adult protective services (APS) are made when the statutory time frames for APS to initiate intake and make initial disposition risk serious harm to the vulnerable adult, or when the vulnerable adult may have experienced a sexual assault and has not been offered a sexual assault examination. Immediate sexual assault examination supports the vulnerable adult’s health and is used to gather evidence to hold the person alleged responsible accountable for criminal sexual conduct.

EPS notifications support vulnerable adults in receiving a social service response through APS intake that assesses the need for immediate APS service intervention to protect the vulnerable adult and prevent serious harm from maltreatment. EPS is not 911. Every MAARC reporter is referred to call 911 if police, the fire department or an ambulance are needed, or if law enforcement is needed to protect a victim, collect evidence, or secure a crime scene.

The EPS notification is assessed by MAARC based on the reporter’s response to standard screening questions to identify when the vulnerable adult has a potential emergency social service need. Every reporter is asked if the vulnerable adult was sexually assaulted within the past 3 weeks and did not receive a sexual assault examination, is likely to be abused or assaulted in the next 72 hours, or likely to experience maltreatment requiring medical care by a physician in the next 72 hours. Affirmative responses by the reporter results in MAARC making immediate EPS notification.

APS receives EPS notification either electronically in the Social Services Information System (SSIS) when the need is assessed at the time of the report or outside of SSIS through a direct request when a lead investigative agency (LIA) assesses the vulnerable adult’s needs for APS during intake or investigation of a MAARC report.

APS is responsible for immediate assessment of protection needs for vulnerable adults who are the subject of emergency adult protective services (EPS) notification (MN Statute 626.557.9b and 626.5572.10). The EPS Standardized Intake Tool guides APS screening decisions. When a vulnerable adult is accepted by the agency for EPS, the agency uses standardized tools to assess the vulnerable adult’s safety, strengths and needs, develop a safety plan, and implement APS service interventions. EPS interventions are the same service interventions used by APS in all assessments. EPS interventions include offering and arranging health care, supervision, and social services. EPS may also include service interventions for the vulnerable adult such as seeking authority to remove a vulnerable adult, seeking a restraining order, arranging for the appointment or replacement of a guardian or conservator, or offering a sexual assault examination (MN Statue 626.557.10). An APS agency may request 911 emergency medical response or law enforcement assistance and cooperation in the provision of EPS to safeguard the vulnerable adult.

Emergency Adult Protective Services (EPS) Process Changes - MAARC EPS Phone Notifications

SSIS icon

We received some great questions at Regional Partnership Meetings about changes to MAARC EPS phone notifications that will take effect 1/1/2022. Below is additional context to help explain the modification. 

When MAARC launched in 2015, DHS provided phone calls for EPS notifications to counties to supplement the immediate notification made through SSIS. Since 2015, system enhancements have ensured immediate electronic notification to the county is made through SSIS. A flag was added in SSIS for the county’s identification of reports with an assessed EPS need. And critically, an EPS standardized tool was integrated into SSIS to support APS intake and screening decisions for vulnerable adults. As a result of the successful implementation of these enhancements, supplemental MAARC calls are no longer necessary for the immediate protection of a vulnerable adult. Additionally, eliminating supplemental calls improves MAARC efficiency in timely referrals and response to reporters. Counties were notified in January, 2021 that supplemental calls by MAARC on weekends and holidays will no longer be made starting in January, 2022.

A daily check of SSIS by the county, or their delegate, for identification and response to reports with an assessed need for EPS supports the county’s existing APS duty and provides the required timely social service response for the vulnerable adult.

APS Data Trends

New Data Now Available! Age, race, and gender data are now available on the Vulnerable Adult Protection Dashboard. Access these new data reports by selecting the icons for Steps 1 and 2.

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.

“Without data, you're just another person with an opinion."
― W. Edwards Deming

The chart below, "Percentage of Statewide Annual APS Maltreatment Reports with Initial Disposition Accepted by APS," identifies annual percentage of APS screen ins from calendar year 2018-2020.

Percentage of Statewide Annual APS Maltreatment Reports with Initial Disposition Accepted by APS

Data Source: DHS Data Warehouse

2018: 29,279 APS Maltreatment Reports; 7,732 Initial Disposition Accepted by APS
2019: 30,667 APS Maltreatment Reports; 7,671 Initial Disposition Accepted by APS
2020: 29,568 APS Maltreatment Reports; 6,104 Initial Disposition Accepted by APS

Adult Protection Training and Events

APS Foundations

APS Foundations is intended for new adult protection workers and supervisors, or adult protection workers and supervisors seeking a foundations refresher. APS Foundations supports equity and consistency in service response and outcomes that safeguard and promote dignity 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 Foundations training is offered online and consists of 4 sessions, 2 hours each, provided weekly over four consecutive weeks at the same time (8 hours total). Attendees will need to complete all four sessions to receive a certificate of completion. 

Upcoming Sessions

  • 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/27 - Thursdays, 1-3 pm | SESSION FULL
  • 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, 7/29 - Thursdays, 1-3 pm | Click Here to Register - Registration is for all four dates. After registering, WebEx links for each of the four sessions will be provided by DHS Adult Protection Unit.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at dhs.adultprotection@state.mn.us.

Additional Training

Find information on adult protection policy, procedure, resources, and training information for mandated reporters and APS on the DHS Adult Protection: Policies and Procedures web page. Specific training resources for APS workers are included under the "Adult protection worker resources and training" drop down. These resources support APS workers meeting education requirements under 626.557 Subd. 9e.

APRS Quick Tips

sign says "You got this" next to a computer

DHS Adult Protection Resource Specialists (APRS), Kelli and Angelo, are available to help with case consultation, policy clarification, resources, and general assistance regarding adult protection in Minnesota. Connect with your APRS today at dhs.adultprotection@state.mn.us or (651) 431-2609. 

APRS Quick Tip

APS plays an important part in assisting vulnerable adults in accessing the vaccine for COVID-19. If you are working with a client who has not been vaccinated, talk with them about vaccination. MDH’s Vaccine: COVID-19 webpage provides valuable information such as, who can get vaccinated, getting vaccinated, and vaccine safety that can assist you in answering questions or concerns the vulnerable adult may have regarding the vaccine. If the vulnerable adult has difficulty accessing technology, assist them with accessing MN’s Covid-19 Vaccine Connector to get signed up for a vaccination. If transportation is a barrier, assist the vulnerable adult in arranging transportation to vaccination sites. County APS can utilize funds allocated under chapter 256M.42 to assist vulnerable adults in accessing the vaccine.

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