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Adult Protective Services

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Adult Protective Services

North Carolina law protects disabled adults of all ages from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.  Chatham County DSS is committed to protecting disabled adults in the county, and will complete a thorough evaluation of all reports meeting statutory criteria.  

What is adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation?

Per GS 108A-101: 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.

Neglect refers to a disabled adult who is either living alone and not able to provide for himself or herself the services which are necessary to maintain the person's mental or physical health or is not receiving services from the person's caretaker.

Exploitation means the illegal or improper use of a disabled adult or his resources for another's profit or advantage.

Who must report?

North Carolina law requires that anyone suspecting that an adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited must report their concerns to their County Department of Social Services. 

Per GS 108A-102: Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a disabled adult is in need of protective services must report it to their local county DSS.  Anyone who makes a report shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability, unless such person acted in bad faith or with a malicious purpose.

How do I report adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation?

Adult Protective Services (APS) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact our Adult Services team by phone, in person, or after hours and on weekends and holidays.

By phone: APS intake staff is available to receive your call at (919) 642-6988   Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm.

In person: You may visit the Chatham County DSS office at 102 Camp Drive, Pittsboro, NC 27312 Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.

After hours and on weekends and holidays: You may contact the 911 Emergency Communications Center at (919) 542-2911.  The operator will contact an after-hours social worker who will return your call.

Please have ready:
• The name, address, and age of the adult.
• Name and address of the adult’s caregiver, if one exists.
• The adult’s physical and/or mental condition, including any injuries or extent of the maltreatment.

Even if you do not have all of the above information, do not hesitate to contact APS if you believe the adult is a victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

What will happen when I make a report?

All reports are reviewed to determine if they meet the three criteria required per NC Statute (G.S. 108a).  Reports meeting criteria are assigned to an Adult Protective Services (APS) Worker for evaluation. An Adult Protective Services Worker will make a determination whether or not an adult is disabled; has been abused, neglected or exploited; and in need of protective services. An assessment is made to determine capacity to consent and what services are needed to prevent further mistreatment. If the allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation is substantiated, the APS Worker will assist individuals and their families or caretakers in utilizing appropriate services and community resources.

Helpful Links:

NC General Statute 108A-99-111: Protection of the Abused, Neglected or Exploited Disabled Adult Act

NC General Statute 108A-112-117: Protection of Disabled and Older Adults from Financial Exploitation

National Adult Protective Services Association

North Carolina Partnership to Address Adult Abuse