Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Adult Protective Services (PA-APS) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of the person served.


Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience. Support can be provided through supervision or other learning activities to improve understanding or skill development in specific areas.
2020 Edition




Adult Protective Services protect vulnerable adults from exploitation, neglect, and abuse.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures or other documentation relevant to continuity of care and case assignment
  • Table of contents of training curricula
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Training curricula
  • Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
  • Documentation of current caseload size per worker
  • Documentation of workload assessment
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files


PA-APS 2.01

Personnel that provide adult protective services are qualified in accordance with state requirements.


PA-APS 2.02

Supervisors have an advanced degree in social work or another human service field or are registered nurses.


If program staff do not include an individual with an advanced degree in social work, a person with an advanced degree is available, as necessary, to provide consultation on complicated cases.


PA-APS 2.03

Personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. providing preventive and supportive services to ensure maximum participation and self-determination; 
  2. communicating and working with vulnerable adults, including adults with disabilities;
  3. recognizing mental, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, neglect and self-neglect, financial exploitation, and abandonment;
  4. investigative techniques, including evaluating risk;
  5. the rights of vulnerable adults;
  6. working with individuals and families who may resist social, medical, and legal services;
  7. using the agency's authority to intervene on behalf of vulnerable adults who are abused, exploited, or neglected; and
  8. working with law enforcement.

Fundamental Practice

PA-APS 2.04

Supervisory personnel are available by telephone 24 hours a day.


PA-APS 2.05

Caseload size are sufficiently small to permit direct service personnel to respond flexibly to differing service needs of individuals, including frequency of contact, and to support the achievement of client outcomes.
Examples: Examples of factors that may be considered when determining employee workloads include, but are not limited to:
  1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of the worker, including the level of supervision needed;
  2. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
  3. service volume, accounting for assessed level of needs of persons served.