Vulnerable Adults

Adult Protective Services Unit

This unit provides training and consultation about the Minnesota Vulnerable Adults Act. Identifying maltreatment in vulnerable adults can be challenging because the adult may not be able to communicate what happened or may be considered an unreliable witness. For example, an elderly man with dementia has a bruise on his arm. Is the bruise the result of caregiver abuse or did he accidentally bump into the wall?

There are three basic kinds of maltreatment:

  • Abuse - physical, emotional or sexual
  • Neglect - caregiver neglect or self neglect
  • Financial exploitation

Eighty-seven counties have their own adult protection units which are responsible for investigating county complaints and providing protective services. State agencies investigate complaints in regulated industries, such as nursing facilities or group homes. Law enforcement units coordinate with state and local vulnerable adult units to investigate maltreatment reports made and investigated.

In addition, Adult Protective Services keeps an aggregate statewide database on maltreatment reports made and investigated.

The Adult Protective Services unit is a consultant for Minnesota's Vulnerable Adult Act [Minnesota Statute Section 626.557 (1995)]. In addition to educating the public about maltreatment of vulnerable adults, Adult Protective Services consults with local agencies, including counties and law enforcement agencies.

Guideline to the Investigation of Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment

This Adult Protection Manual (table of contents) (appendices) provides policy and procedures for county staff that perform the Common Entry Point function (CEP Form) and conduct investigations as required in MS626.557 Vulnerable Adult Act and MN Rule 9555.7100-9555.7700.

Adult Protection Executive Summary 2-page fact sheet

Adult Protection fact sheet

The Minnesota Vulnerable Adult Act outlines the role of Adult Protective Services as providing:

  • Training
    Public agencies with responsibilities under the statute are required to receive training on their responsibilities specifically in the areas of investigation of vulnerable adult maltreatment and operation of a Common Entry Point (CEP). A CEP is the county unit responsible for receiving oral reports of suspected maltreatment twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. It is designated by each county board. The county directory is a list of all CEP phone numbers for the State of Minnesota. It is updated regularly.
  • Consultation
    Provide general and case-specific assistance to citizens, providers, local and state agencies on the Vulnerable Adult Act and issues arising under it.
  • Data Collection:
    Prior to 2008, a copy of the suspected maltreatment report (DHS 3243) was sent to the Department of Human Services – Adult Protection Unit for data collection purposes. In anticipation of the need for a centralized automated data collection system for CEP data, Minnesota Statute, section 626.557 subdivision 13 (g) authorized that the CEP would log reports into a database once this database became available. Effective April 1, 2008, the centralized database became available to all 87 counties. DHS Bulletin #08-25-02 outlines county duties. An updated Tip Sheet will assist counties with frequently asked questions associated with the new data collection system.

Help Protect People who are Frail or Vulnerable (pdf)