DHS Adult Protection Newsletter - May 28, 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

May 28, 2021

In this issue:

Back So Soon? APS Outcomes for Vulnerable Adults

Senior woman alone

Adult protective services (APS) is an important part of our state’s service system. APS has an important role in our society's social contract to care for its most vulnerable citizens. The Vulnerable Adult Act (VAA) identifies APS's foundational outcome: stop ongoing maltreatment and prevent reoccurrence. APS provides a social services response when a vulnerable person in the community is reported to be experiencing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. APS is the only lead investigative agency (LIA) under the VAA that assesses and offers services to vulnerable adults to stop maltreatment. APS values and ethics outline that a vulnerable adult will receive a person-centered, trauma informed approach to assessment, safety planning, and service intervention that respects the vulnerable adult’s rights, dignity, culture, and choices.

Minnesota policy identifies APS as an essential service in the state’s human service’s system. APS is the safety net for vulnerable adults when systems to prevent maltreatment such as informal supports by family and friends, referral service, long-term and community based services, and case managers planning for health and safety do not result in prevention and a vulnerable adult is suspected of experiencing maltreatment. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires our state assures there is a way to report, respond, and provide person-centered remediation when people participating in our Medical Assistance waiver programs experience maltreatment. APS programs are foundational to the state meeting waiver program assurances.

A program outcome for APS, established for Minnesota’s Human Service Performance Management (HSPM) system and used to manage state APS grants, is that maltreatment reoccurrence is reduced after APS case closure following assessment, safety planning, and service interventions and the vulnerable adult assessed as safe or conditionally safe. The adult protection outcomes measure was recommended to the MN legislature by a stakeholder group that included county representatives and adopted by the HSPM Council, which also includes county human services representation. When reports are screened out, a repeat maltreatment measure is not useful in understanding if the vulnerable adult experiences future maltreatment. A measure using maltreatment is dependent on APS screening in a MAARC report for assessment and services.

Despite the best efforts of APS, a vulnerable adult can experience maltreatment after case closure. The performance threshold for repeat maltreatment was set at 80% by the HSPM Council for this reason. Situations change, services and supports change, illness progresses, people make choices and all of these can lead to repeat maltreatment. A vulnerable adult reported as experiencing maltreatment after case closure is an opportunity for APS to screen in the report, reassess, and reengage with the person and their supports. A repeat report made by a reporter and accepted by APS is a testament to the belief there is always hope for change and for a person’s life to be better. DHS offers Adult Protection Resource Specialists for consultation in challenging service situations as well as program consultation for APS programs when outcomes for vulnerable adults are not meeting the agency’s goals.

Local, state, and now federal tax dollars fund APS programs and systems. Program outcomes and quality assurance are necessary components of program funding. To meet funding criteria, program outcomes need to be demonstrated to tax payers, state and federal policy makers and agencies, as well as to reporters, vulnerable adults, and the people investigated as alleged responsible for maltreatment. APS program outcomes are not demonstrated through a single outcome measure such as repeat maltreatment. Additional measures to demonstrate APS outcomes for vulnerable adults need to be developed to support federal and state program funding and to evaluate service needs of vulnerable adults.

APS workers engaging with people to improve their social conditions and stop ongoing maltreatment is an important program outcome. APS makes a positive difference for people. Adult protection workers, supervisors, and managers, thank you for your compassion and dedication to vulnerable adults in our communities and for your ongoing professionalism, coordination with partners, and engagement to improve people’s lives.

Celebrate Success! APS Staff Complete NAPSA Certification

NAPSA icon

Hennepin County Adult Protection has three staff members that successfully completed the NAPSA certificate program: Cindy Carlson, Evelyn Kebaya and Yoel Ghebreamlack. Congratulations to each of you!

The Core APS Curriculum offers 23 core competencies identified by NAPSA and its professional members as basics important to (or necessary for) the practice of Adult Protective Services. The NAPSA Certificate Program includes a curriculum developed by the NAPSA Education Certificate Committees and cooperation with APS Workforce Innovations (formerly Project MASTER) at San Diego State University’s Academy for Professional Excellence.

Have you or your team received the NAPSA Certificate? Email DHS adult protection dhs.adultprotection@state.mn.us to let us know and we will share the good news in the newsletter! Let's celebrate our successes together as we work to improve adult protection in Minnesota.

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 graphic below, titled "MAARC Reports of Suspected Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment for 2020 Q1 and 2021 Q1," compares the statewide first quarter figures of 2020 and 2021 for total MAARC reports received, total EPS reports received, and total reports received for each of Minnesota's three lead investigative agencies.

2020 and 2021 Q1 MAARC Report totals

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

  • 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.
  • 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/30 - 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.

Have a Safe and Happy Memorial Day

Poppy Flowers

Memorial Day is a U.S. federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the military. This year, Memorial Day will be observed on Monday, May 31.

According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, the red poppy is a traditional symbol of Memorial Day. The history of this symbol stems from the war-torn battlefields of Europe of World War 1. The common red field poppy was one of the first plants to reappear. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground was disturbed - as it was by the fighting of World War 1.

In November 1918, days before the official end of the war, an American professor named Moina Michael wrote the poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith.” In her poem (see below) she mentioned wearing the “poppy red” to honor the dead, and with that, the tradition of adorning one’s clothing with a single red poppy in remembrance of those killed in the Great War was born.

Today, poppies are not only a symbol of loss of life, but also of recovery and new life, especially in support of the servicemen who survived the war but suffered from physical and psychological injuries long after it ended.

“We Shall Keep the Faith”

by Moina Michael, November 1918

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

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