Do you have concerns about a disabled adult who is either living in the community or in a licensed facility?
Did you know that there is a law that was enacted in 1975 to protect disabled adults from abuse, neglect and exploitation?
Please read on to understand the state statute and Department of Social Services responsibility.
Protection of the Abused, Neglected or Exploited Disabled Adult Act is located under Statute 108A Article 6.
This statute was initiated to protect the increasing number of disabled adults in North Carolina who are being abused, neglected or exploited.
The statute requires that anyone having reason to believe that a disabled person is in need of protective service shall report such information to the director of the department of social services.
In Buncombe County you may call (828) 250-5800 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. In the event of an emergency after 5:00 weekdays and weekends you may call 211. You may also make the report in writing. You may remain anonymous, but we encourage you to give us your name in the event additional information is needed. We are prohibited by the statute to give the reporter's name. A Social Worker is available during the above hours to take the information you provide.
The Social Worker will ask numerous questions of you such as but not limited to adult's name, address, age/date of birth, Social Security number, family/collateral names, how is the person disabled, what are the allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
The questions asked are important to assure that all appropriate services are made available to the adult.
To accept the referral for Protective Services the information provided must state:
- The adult is physically or mentally incapacitated.
- The adult is being abused, neglected or exploited. If abused, the abuse must be by a caretaker.
- The adult is in need of protection.
This specific criteria is important because Protective Services unlike other services provided by Social Services is initiated without the consent of the adult.
Once a referral is taken for Protective Services, a Social Worker will be assigned the case. They have anywhere from immediately to 72 hours to respond to the case, depending on the seriousness of the situation.
A Social Worker is responsible for assessment of the situation and determining the need for protection. The assessment includes evaluating six areas:
- Physical health
- Mental Health
- Social Support
- Activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living.
- Financial Support
- Physical environment
During the course of the evaluation the Social Worker will talk with the adult, collaterals, and use whatever resources necessary to determine whether the adult is in need of protection.
It is important to note that at the end of the assessment the most basic tenet of Adult Protective Service is the right to self-determination.
- This means that as long as the adult can recognize the consequences of decisions they have made about their lives, their right to make those decisions must be respected.
- If the adult is unable to recognize the consequences of his decisions due to mental illness, intellectual disability, Alzheimer's, dementia or other cognitive limitation and there is no other responsible party to protect the Adult the Agency is responsible for providing that Protection.
PLEASE IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT A DISABLED PERSON PLEASE CALL 250-5800 AND MAKE A REPORT.
Adult Services Include:
- Initial contact within 24 to 72 hours
- Private Interview with Adult
- Assessment of all functional areas of the adults life
- Collateral contacts
- Decision of need
- A Protective Plan if required
- Referral to Appropriate Services
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
To make a Protective Service Referral call our Intake Unit at (828) 250-5800 between the hours mentioned above, no appointment needed. If it is an emergency and after 5:00 or on weekends you may call 211.
How are services paid for?
No fee for this service.
Social Worker Time is paid by State and Federal Block Grant
For a listing of county-wide programs & services offered by Buncombe County Government, please visit our Services For Adults section.
Social Services Director / Assistant County Manager
40 Coxe Avenue
PO Box 7408
Asheville, NC 28802
Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Call these numbers anytime, day or night