When filing a petition, depending upon the adult's situation the SSW as a representative of the Cabinet may seek a DPP-252 Emergency Protective Order Ex Parte or file a DPP-251 Emergency Protective Services Order.
A DPP-252 is used when facts indicate the adult’s situation is so dire that the seventy two (72) hour wait for a hearing on the petition would place the adult at risk of death or serious physical harm.
A DPP-251 is filed when there is some margin of time and the potential consequences to the adult are not as immediate.
The SSW files the DPP-250 Verified Petition for the Provision of Emergency Protective Services with both the DPP-251 and DPP-252.
When the client is in need of a DPP-252 Emergency Protective Services Order Ex-Parte, the SSW:
- Attempts to obtain appropriate supervisory approval;
- Attempts to consult with the Office of Legal Services (OLS);
- Presents the Circuit or Family court with an affidavit or sworn testimony; 1
- Presents specific facts of conclusion to the court that demonstrate the adult is in danger of suffering immediate and irreparable physical harm or death;
- Routinely includes in the affidavit or sworn testimony, the need for forcible entry by law enforcement into the home of the adult on whose behalf the involuntary services are sought, and the need for transportation by the emergency medical service; and
- Files a petition as soon as possible if an emergency protective order ex-parte is issued.
Prior to filing a DPP-251 Emergency Protective Service Order, the SSW determines that all filing criteria exists and completes the following tasks in order to accomplish this:
- Consults with the FSOS and arranges for a joint visit with the FSOS or other supervisory staff as appropriate;
- Makes a joint decision with the FSOS as to the appropriateness of requesting a court order;
- Requests permission from the SRA or designee to file a petition for a court order;
- Consults with available regional office staff or the Adult Protective Services Branch to assist in the process;
- Consults with the Office of Legal Services as soon as the decision has been made to seek a court order;
- If the Office of Legal Services is unavailable seeks assistance from the county or commonwealth's attorney;
- Reports to the court on a monthly basis when protective services are ordered for longer than one (1) month. 2
If the Office of Legal Services is not consulted when the SSW obtains an ex-parte order or petitions the court for an emergency protective service order the SSW:
- Forwards a copy of the order or petition to the Office of Legal Services.
- The SSW may use the following questions in determining if an adult lacks the capacity to consent:
- Can the adult make and express choices?
- Can the adult give reasons for the choice?
- Are the reasons grounded in reality?
- Does the adult understand the consequences of the decision?
- Does the adult accept the consequence?
- Are the adult's responses to questions rational?
- Are the adult's responses contradictory to behavior or other statements?
- Are the adult's expectations of what will happen in a certain situation within the realm of possibility or contrary to reality?
- Are the adult's responses made in context to the situation?
- What is different about the situation today than any other day which would require court ordered intervention?
- The SSW may use the following assessment instruments in determining capacity:
- Mini mental status examination; or
- Functional assessment.
- The SSW as a representative of DCBS may seek a restraining order or other injunctive relief to prohibit interference in a protective service investigation or delivery of service.
- Prior to seeking injunctive relief or a restraining order, the SSW, FSOS or designee contacts the Office of Legal Services for consultation.
- If the Office of Legal Services is not available the SSW, FSOS or designee contacts the Office of Legal Services as soon as possible.