Mandated Reporting of Abuse of Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities

A new report from National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) in collaboration with the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) entitled “Mandated Reporting of Abuse of Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities” is now available. This report focuses on mandated reporting of abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities to Adult Protective Services (APS) or other agency. Most APS programs consider mandated reporting an essential tool for addressing harm to older adults and adults with disabilities.

Mandated reporting of abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities is generally defined as the legal requirement to report suspected abuse, neglect and/or exploitation of a person meeting the state’s definitions of an adult eligible for special protection under the law.

Reports are made to that entity in the state required to investigate such allegations. Such entities may include APS, law enforcement, and licensing agencies, among others.

Every state has mandated reporters but the list of who is included varies considerably. For example, fifteen states have universal reporting. This means that everyone in that state is required to report abuse, neglect and exploitation as defined by that state’s statute. Other states limit the persons who are mandated to report abuse.

For example, in New Jersey N.J. Stat. Ann. § 52:27D-409 mandates that a health care professional, law enforcement officer, firefighter, paramedic or emergency medical technician MUST report the abuse of older adults and adults with disabilities. Any other person MAY make such a report. When any of the listed persons who has reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult is the subject of abuse, neglect or exploitation may make a report. Reports shall be made to the county adult protective services provider, meaning a county board of social services or other public or nonprofit agency with experience as a New Jersey provider of protective services for adults, designated by the county and approved by the commissioner.

Compare that with the broader reporting requirements in New York. Under N.Y. SOC. SERV. § 473- b, any person MUST report when he or she believes that a person eighteen years of age or older may be an endangered adult or in need of protective or other services. The person must report or refer the abused person to the department, office for the aging, or any local social services district office or designated area agency on aging, law enforcement agency.

The report is attached here – [gview file=””]

For additional information concerning elder abuse actions, visit: