Common Questions - Adult Protective Services

elderly woman putting a puzzle together with another woman

What is Adult Protective Services (APS)?

APS is a program that is designated per WI Statutes. The intent of the program is to provide protection to at risk adults who are (or are at risk of) experiencing abuse, neglect or exploitation. The Adult Protective Services Program is also responsible for providing a means for long-term care and custody to persons who are incompetent and in need of guardianship and protective placements and or services.

What is Self-Determination?

The ability for a person to have control and influence over their own life. Recognizing that competent adults have the right to make their own decisions in life, regardless of the impact and potential of those decisions or actions being characterized as poor decisions.

Who is an Elder at Risk?

An individual age 60 or older who has experienced, is currently experiencing or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect or financial exploitation.

Who is an Adult at Risk?

An adult who has a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs his or her ability to care for his or her needs who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

What is Least Restrictive?

Least restrictive is the type of service or placement that is the most “homelike” or places the fewest restrictions on a person’s liberties and yet keeps that individual safe.

What are Protective Placement/Services?

At times individuals may need ongoing care and custody for their protection. The state statutes allow for court ordered placements or services to assist with this at times when specific requirements are met. The responsible agency and circuit court assures that these placements and services are in the least restrictive setting that can safely meet the person’s needs.

What is a Guardian?

A guardian is an individual appointed by a court of law to be the decision maker for another who is unable to make decisions on their own behalf. A person must be determined to be incapable of making their own decisions or incompetent by the court to have a guardian appointed. There are two types of guardian: Guardian of Person and Guardian of Estate.