Adult Protective Services

If you have information that a Wake County adult, who is disabled, is being abused, neglected and/or exploited and has no one that is willing to advocate for him or her, or cannot advocated for himself or herself,
Fax: 919-743-4765
Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm 
After normal business hours or on weekends call 911

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

world elder abuse awareness day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) provides an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older people by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

WEAAD is in support of the United Nations International Plan of Action acknowledging the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. In a society that values the just treatment of all people, WEAAD reminds us that elder abuse has implications for all of us, and so it’s important to find the right solutions to it. WEAAD is a call-to-action for society’s individuals, organizations, and communities to educate each other on how to identify, address and prevent abuse so we can all do our part to support everyone as we age.

2023 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Live Streaming Event

QR Code for World Elder Day Live Stream 2023

Date: June 29, 2023
Time: 1pm-3pm
Join Us Via Computer or Mobile Device
Link to access the live stream 2023 WEADD event:

Elder Abuse FAQs

How can someone report elder abuse?

To report abuse, call us at 919-212-7264, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

To make a report outside of these hours or on holidays and weekends, please call 911 and tell the dispatcher you need to make an APS report. They will get in touch with the social worker on call and take the report. 

Reports can also be mailed to: Wake County Government, Attn: Adult Protective Services, 220 Swinburne St., Raleigh, NC 27620 or faxed to 919-212-4765. 

Are APS reports confidential?

Yes! Reports made to APS are confidential.  If someone were trying to obtain information contained in a report or evaluation, a court order would have to be produced for any records to potentially be released.

Who can be reported for elder abuse?

We evaluate reports on individuals who are alleged to be abused, neglected or exploited. Although sometimes these adults live in nursing homes or another type of facility, they often live in private settings in the community as well. 

We can receive reports on anyone. The screening process determines if the adult is disabled and alleged to be maltreated, and if they are in need of protective services.

What is considered elder abuse?

Per state guidelines, the word "abuse" means the willful infliction of physical pain, injury or mental anguish, unreasonable confinement or the willful deprivation by a caretaker of services which are necessary to maintain mental and physical health.

Elder abuse refers to intentional or negligent acts by a caregiver or trusted individual that causes harm to an older person. Elder abuse takes many forms, including:

  • Neglect or Isolation
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse and exploitation
  • Emotional or psychological abuse (including verbal abuse and threats)

What happens after a report of elder abuse is reported?

Once APS receives a report, the supervisor makes a “screening” decision based off the information provided in the report. Criteria for screening decisions are dictated by General Statute and State Policy. If the report meets APS criteria: (1) alleged to be a disabled adult; (2) alleged to be abused, neglected, and/or exploited; and (3) alleged to be in need of protective services, the report would be screened in for evaluation.

The report is then assigned to a social worker to complete a thorough evaluation. The social worker assigned will then initiate the report either immediately or within 72 hours, depending on the severity of allegations in the report. The social worker has 30 to 45 days to complete the evaluation, depending upon the allegations that were provided in the report.

At the end of the evaluation, the social worker and supervisor come to the case decision to determine if the adult is in fact disabled, maltreated and in need of protective services. From there, the social worker determines capacity and whether the adult has the ability to consent to services or if service authority will be have to be obtained through a legal intervention in order to provide services. Once service authority is obtained, the social worker can then start assisting the adult with goals outlined in the service plan to keep the adult safe.  APS is meant to be a short term intervention and generally tries to put protection and resources in place to be able to exit or refer to other resources within a reasonable amount of time.

Why Should We Care About Elder Abuse?

Caring about elder abuse is caring about justice for all. As a country, we are committed to ensuring the just treatment of all people, but elder abuse violates this value.

The costs of elder abuse are high for the affected individuals and society alike. Their losses can be tangible (homes and life savings) and intangible (dignity, independence, and possibly their lives). For society, elder abuse is both a social and economic issue: it creates health care and legal costs, which are often shouldered by public programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and isolates them from the community. It’s in everyone’s interest to care about and prevent elder abuse.

What Causes Elder Abuse?

Older people are more likely to experience social isolation, which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect.

Elder abuse affects older people across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races and can occur anywhere when they are disconnected from social supports:

  • In a person’s own home
  • In nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other institutional settings
  • In hospitals

While any older person is potentially at risk of elder abuse, some are more susceptible to experience abuse or neglect than others. Based on available information, women and people 80 and older are more likely to experience abuse. Factors such as dementia or poor physical health can increase older people’s isolation, which in turn puts people at greater risk of experiencing abuse or neglect.

Some common risk factors:

  • Dementia
  • Mental health or substance abuse issues of an older person and/or a perpetrator
  • Social isolation
  • Poor physical health

Where can I learn more about Elder Abuse?

Visit the website of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) or contact them by email:; or by phone: 1-855-500-3537.

Adult woman holding her head



Adults with disabilities may be vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation. Adult Protective Services (APS) receives and evaluates reports of abuse, neglect and/or exploitation of elderly and disabled adults through the APS Intake and Referral Line. 

If an Adult Protective Services (APS) report meets the criteria above and is accepted as an evaluation, the APS worker has up to 72 hours to initiate the evaluation depending on the urgency of the consumer's situation. 

The APS worker then has up to 30 days to complete a thorough evaluation of cases of abuse and neglect and up to 45 days in case of exploitation.  Please note that during evaluation, the APS worker cannot provide direct services. 

Finally, if the APS worker substantiates that the consumer is disabled, and is being abused, neglected, and/or exploited and in need of protective services after the thorough evaluation is conducted, the APS worker can mobilize services such as home health care, petition for Guardianship, and assist with long term care placement. 

What to report

  • Abuse – Willful infliction of physical pain, injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement or willful deprivation by caretaker of services that are necessary to maintain mental/physical health. 
  • Caretaker Neglect – Failure of the caregiver to provide services to maintain the physical and mental health of the disabled adult. 
  • Self-Neglect – Disabled adult who lives alone or has no caregiver and is not able to provide necessary services to maintain his/her mental and physical health. 
  • Exploitation – Illegal or improper use of a disabled adult or elderly person of his/her assets for another’s profit or advantage. 

Criteria for evaluation of a report

To meet criteria for evaluation by APS the report must be concerning a person 18 or older who resides in Wake County and meets the following:  

  • Is reported to be abused, neglected or exploited 
  • Is disabled, meaning the adult cannot complete daily activities or handle his/her affairs or protect their interests 
  • Has no one willing, able and responsible to obtain essential services for them 
  • Is unable and/or unwilling to obtain essential services for themselves 

What happens during evaluation?

A social worker will be assigned to the report and they have up to 30 days to complete the evaluation of cases of abuse or neglect and 45 days for cases of exploitation. Services cannot be provided to the adult while the evaluation is in process. 

What happens after evaluation?

Finally, if the APS worker substantiates or agrees that the adult is disabled, and is being abused, neglected and/or exploited and in need of protective services after the thorough evaluation is conducted, the APS worker can mobilize services such as home health care, petition for guardianship and assist with long term care placement.