Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

20.1 Introduction to APS Investigation and Assessment

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 20-APS Investigations and Assessment
20.1 Introduction to APS Investigation and Assessment

When a section of SOP has been revised users will see the following: Added {This is added material}, Deleted {This is deleted material}. The bold and strikethroughs will appear on the site for fifteen (15) days after a modification and will then be removed.


Legal Authority/Introduction


The Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) notifies all pertinent community partners and attempts to coordinate investigations. 

DCBS also conducts investigations of reports alleging abuse, neglect, or exploitation of:

  • An abused and/or neglected adult as defined by KRS Chapter 209 Protection of Adults; or
  • Provides protective services upon acceptance, request, or court order. 

Practice Guidance

    • Initiation timeframes begin from the moment the intake SSW submits the report to the intake FSOS, or in after-hours situations, upon decision by the on-call FSOS to accept the report.
    • An investigation includes contact with the alleged victim and may include contact with the alleged perpetrator and collaterals.
    • The purposes of conducting an adult protective services (APS) investigation are:
      • To determine through personal contact whether alleged maltreatment of an adult has occurred;
      • To assess the need for protective services;
      • To provide protective services upon request, acceptance, or court order;
      • To initiate court action in the circuit, district or family court when:
        • The adult is in need of protective services;
        • The adult lacks the capacity to consent and refuses services;
        • The adult is in a state of abuse or neglect and an emergency exists;
        • No person is authorized by law or court order to give consent or such person refuses to give consent; and
        • The intervention is the least restrictive;
      • To distribute investigative findings that may help authorized agencies in the performance of their duties and the protection of the adult.


The SSW:

  1. Adheres to the following timeframes for initiation of an investigation: 1 
    1. Within one (1) hour of the receipt of the report if the adult’s condition presents a substantial risk of death or immediate and serious physical harm; and
    2. Within forty-eight (48) hours of receiving the report if the adult is not in a state of emergency.
  2. Is required to have face-to-face contact with the reported victim(s) to initiate an APS investigation;
  3. Documents the legitimate attempts that have been made to locate the alleged victim(s) only after attempts at face-to-face contact within the required time frames have failed;
  4. Completes reports in the county where the adult victim resides; 2
  5. Completes an onsite request to another county or region for information regarding an investigation in order to obtain:
    1. Interviews;
    2. Police reports;
    3. Hospital or other medical records; and
    4. Legal documentation (from courthouse, etc.).
  6. Completes case consultation with FSOS or designee;3
  7. Completes the investigation and assessment of risk on the adult assessment and submits to the FSOS for approval and signature within thirty (30) working days after initiation of the investigation; and
  8. At the completion of an investigation, if ongoing services are going to be provided, completes an APS Prevention Plan if an extension of a previous prevention plan is needed to assist the client with identified needs until a case plan can be negotiated. 6


Contingencies and Clarifications

  1. When a second incident is received during an open investigation, the SSW:
    1. Initiates the incident within specified timeframes based on the assigned program/subprogram; and
    2. Documents the details of the second incident in the chronology section of the Assessment and Documentation Tool (ADT). 

Request for an extension

If the investigative worker is unable to complete the assessment within thirty (30) working days (forty-five (45) calendar days) from receipt of the investigation, the SSW utilizes the following guidelines in determining the need to request an extension:

  1. The first extension request is approved by the FSOS and may be requested for the following reasons: 
    1. Another agency is expected to make available information that is necessary to a finding during an extension period; 4
    2. A specialized investigation requires a large number of individual interviews or consultations with central office; or
    3. Law enforcement is conducting a criminal investigation and has not completed their work on the case.  5
  2. If a second extension becomes necessary it must be approved by the SRAA supervising the FSOS; 
  3. Extension requests are submitted in TWIST to the FSOS or designee by the SSW or by e-mail if TWIST is not available; and 
  4. All approved extensions are documented in TWIST in the risk assessment conclusion section of the assessment.


  1. Timeframes are based upon claims from the reporting source and determination by the FSOS.
  2. If a case needs to be opened, it remains in the county where the adult victim resides.
  3. Utilization of the APS Investigation Case Consultation form will assist in strengthening outcomes for our victims.
  4. A finding should not be delayed to wait for a court determination.
  5. APS findings are not contingent upon law enforcement’s findings.  In cases where law enforcement asks APS staff to delay making their finding so as not to compromise a law enforcement investigation, APS staff should seek guidance from regional office.
  6. Guidance for developing the prevention plan can be found in Chapter 7.3 APS Prevention Planning.


Sign In (Editor Access Only)
Copyright © 2011 Commonwealth of Kentucky - All Rights Reserved
Kentucky Unbridled Spirit