Supporting the Adult Protective Services Workforce

An estimated one in ten adults over the age of 60 is a victim of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse or financial exploitation, or suffers from neglect or abandonment. As the number of older adults in the US dramatically increases in size over the next two decades, it is anticipated that the incidence of elder abuse will become more prevalent. A critical component to addressing this important public health issue is the network of local and state agencies that comprise the country’s system of community adult protective services (APS) and its workforce. APS investigations entail a complex scope of work that requires assessment of social, behavioral, and medical issues, as well as legal issues having to do with self-determination and possible criminality.

This issue brief summarizes key issues affecting the APS workforce and their policy implications as described in the current academic literature, publications produced by stakeholder organizations, and selected key informant interviews with representatives of those organizations, including:

  • Education and training
  • The use of interdisciplinary teams
  • Federal funding and administration
  • Workforce turnover

Key Questions:

What competency areas should be the focus of APS education and training?
What concerns do field experts have regarding the future of the workforce?


Authors Timothy Bates, MPP and Susan Chapman, RN, PhD of the UCSF Health Workforce Research Center on Long-Term Care have published their report, Supporting the Adult Protective Services Workforce.


For questions, contact: Timothy Bates, [email protected]