Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

20.9 Determining the Findings of an Adult Abuse/Neglect/Exploitation Investigation

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter:
Chapter 20-APS Investigations and Assessment
Effective:
1/22/2014
Section:
20.9 Determining the Findings of an Adult Abuse/Neglect/Exploitation Investigation
Version:
1

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Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

Procedure

The SSW: 

  1. Makes a written report of the investigative findings and, if necessary, a recommendation for further action upon completion of a thorough investigation, which may include interviewing all relevant parties, gathering supportive facts, obtaining written documentation and assessing risk;
  2. Documents the investigative findings as follows, once the investigation is complete: 
    1. Substantiated–Substantiated means that a SSW has determined that an adult is the victim of abuse, neglect or exploitation.  A substantiated finding is made as a result of a personal interview with the alleged victim and one of the following conditions:
      1. An interview with the alleged perpetrator, if conducting the interview does not pose a threat to the victim, in which the individual admits to abusing, neglecting or exploiting the victim; or
      2. The presence of evidentiary or supportive facts, such as medical evidence, observation of injuries, or witness testimony that reveals a preponderance of evidence. These examples are combined with other strong collaborating facts and documented in the adult assessment;
    2. Found and Substantiated–An investigative finding is found and substantiated when a SSW discovers during the course of an investigation, or through a routine service contact, that an adult was the victim of abuse, neglect or exploitation, and the incident was not previously reported through the department’s intake process.  The SSW uses the same standards for a finding of found and substantiated as for a substantiated finding;
    3. Unsubstantiated–A finding of unsubstantiated is used when:
      1. Contact with the alleged victim reveals no evidence, facts, indicators or justification to substantiate abuse, neglect or exploitation; or
      2. The location of the adult is known and attempts at contacting or conducting a personal interview with the alleged victim have been unsuccessful, and there is a lack of supportive evidence to indicate abuse, neglect or exploitation;
    4. Unable to Locate–An investigative finding of unable to locate is used when the SSW cannot locate an alleged victim after repeated, diligent efforts.

The FSOS or designee: 

  1. Reviews and approves the investigative finding. 1  

Practice Guidance

  • If the investigation is substantiated, but the case will be closed, completion of an aftercare plan is offered and the case is closed (used for both substantiated and, found and substantiated).
  • If the investigation is unsubstantiated and there are concerns, completion of an aftercare plan is offered and the report is closed.
 

Footnotes

  1. The investigative findings are only used to determine whether an adult has been abused, neglected or exploited and whether department services are necessary for the alleged victim.

 

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