The Administration for Community Living is seeking input on a proposed rule to establish the first-ever federal regulations for adult protective services (APS) programs. See below for instructions on submitting comments and registering for a stakeholder webinar, which will be held on Monday, September 18.
APS programs across the country support older adults and adults with disabilities who experience, or who are risk of, abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation. APS programs investigate reports of maltreatment; conduct case planning, monitoring and evaluation; and provide, or connect people to, a variety of medical, social service, economic, legal, housing, law enforcement, and other protective, emergency, or support services. Over the past decade, ACL has led federal efforts to support the critical work of APS programs through a variety of initiatives.
The proposed rule aims to improve consistency and quality of APS services across states and support the national network that delivers APS services, with the ultimate goal of better meeting the needs of adults who experience, or are at risk of, maltreatment. To those ends, the proposed rule:
- Establishes a set of national standards for the operation of APS programs that all state APS systems must meet. These standards formalize – and build upon – the existing Voluntary Consensus Guidelines for State APS Systems.
- Establishes common definitions for the national APS system to improve information sharing, data collection and standardization between and within states.
- Requires state APS systems to develop policies and procedures, consistent with state law, for coordination and sharing of information to facilitate investigations with other entities, such as state long-term care ombudsman, law enforcement agencies, and state Medicaid agencies.
- Requires state policies and procedures to be person-directed and based on concepts of least restrictive alternatives.
- Establishes requirements for data collection, retention, and reporting.
- Establishes requirements for mandatory staff training and ongoing education on core competencies for APS staff and supervisors.
Key Provisions of the Proposed Rule:
We have created a plainer-language overview of some of the core provisions of the proposed rule. It was written to be easier to understand for people without an in-depth understanding of APS or a legal background. It does not include all of the provisions or complete details of the summarized provisions. Please use this document as a tool to navigate the proposed rule; it should not be considered a substitute.
The proposed rule is the culmination of many years of engagement with stakeholders from APS and long-term care ombudsman programs, as well as aging and disability advocates, from across the country. It also reflects input received through several listening sessions, extensive research, and analysis of data from a 2021 survey of 51 APS systems, ACL’s National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System, and policy profiles from APS programs in all states and territories.
How to Provide Feedback:
ACL seeks feedback from all who are seeking to improve implementation of APS programs. Input from the aging and disability networks, as well as the people served by APS programs, is particularly crucial. Comments can be submitted:
- Using the online comment form at the Federal Register (comments are transferred directly to Regulations.gov)
- By mail to:
Administration on Aging
Administration for Community Living
Department of Health and Human Services
Attention: Stephanie Whittier Eliason
330 C Street SW
Washington, DC 20201
Comments will be accepted for 60 days, starting on September 12.
On September 18, ACL hosted an informational webinar on the proposed rule.
The complete proposed rule can be found on the website of the Federal Register.
- Highlights of the rule's provisions can be found in this overview.