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Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective Services

Unit 15: Washington, Lawrence, Crawford & Orange Counties

The Adult Protective Services program was established to investigate reports and provide intervention and protection to vulnerable adults who are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation.  APS field investigators operate out of the offices of county prosecutor throughout the state.

The Adult Protective Services is administered by the Washington County Prosecutor’s office and is one of 18 APS Units in Indiana.  APS Unit 15 serves Washington Lawrence, Crawford, and Orange counties and works with the respective prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in each jurisdiction.

If the APS unit has reason to believe that an individual is an endangered adult, the adult protective services unit shall investigate the complaint or cause the complaint to be investigated by law enforcement or other agency and make a determination as to whether the individual reported is an endangered adult.  To be eligible for service under this program an individual must be a resident of the state of Indiana, 18 years of age or older, physical or mentally incapacitated and reported as abused, neglected or exploited.


How to file a report

All persons are required by law to report all cases of suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation to either the nearest APS office or to law enforcement.

 All reports are secure and kept confidential.

 Individuals may file a report online or by calling the state hotline or calling APS field office

  • State Hotline: 800-992-6978
  • Online Reporting: www.in.gov/fssa
  • APS Unit 15: 812-883-5988
  • Eldercare Location for out-of-state APS offices: 800-677-1116

Please note that APS in not an emergency responder. 
If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911 immediately.

After a report is submitted

After a report is submitted it is sent to the director of the local APS unit, who will determine the appropriate next step.  APS will keep your report confidential and will not disclose your name without a court order.  If APS conducts an investigation, an investigator may contact you for additional information; however, APS does not discuss ongoing investigations and will not provide you with information regarding the details or the status of the investigation.

Please understand that when adults have the capacity to make their own decisions, they may refuse services and have the right to do so.  APS has no authority to force a full cognizant adult to anything again their will.

 Who is an endangered adult?

 There are three aspects to being an endangered adult in Indiana.  Indiana considers an endangered adult to be:

  • An individual who is at least 18 years of age
  • Incapable by reason of mental illness, intellectual disability, dementia, habitual drunkenness, excessive drug use, or other physical or mental incapacity, of managing or directing the management of the individual’s property or providing self-care; and
  • Harmed or threatened with harm as a result of:
    • Battery
    • Neglect; or
    • Exploitation of the individual’s personal services or property

 What are the definitions of abuse, neglect or exploitation in Indiana?


  • A person who knowingly or intentionally:
    • Touches another person in a rude, insolent or angry manner; or
    • In a rude insolent or angry manner places any bodily fluid or waste on another person.


  • The endangered adult or the person who takes care of the endangered adult is unable to or fails to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter or medical care.


  • Exploitation of the individual’s personal services or property: A person who recklessly, knowing, or intentionally exerts unauthorized use of the personal services or the property of:
    • An endangered adult; or
    • A dependent 18 years of age or older;
    • For the person’s own profit or advantage or for the profit of advantage of another person.
    • Includes, but is not limited to sexual misuse as well as the use of the endangered adult’s labor without pay or exerting unauthorized control over the finances or property of the endangered adult.