APS Mandated Reporters

When Reporting Abuse Is Required

Any mandated reporter, who in his or her professional capacity, or within the scope of his or her employment, has observed or has knowledge of an incident that reasonably appears to be abuse or neglect, or is told by an elder or dependent adult that he or she has experienced behavior constituting abuse or neglect, or reasonably suspects that abuse, shall report the known or suspected instance of abuse. This must be done BY TELEPHONE IMMEDIATELY (925-602-4179), or as soon as practically possible, and BY WRITTEN REPORT WITHIN TWO (2) WORKING DAYS, as mandated by the California Welfare and Institution (W&I) Code, Section 15630(b).

Written reports should use form State of California 341 (SOC 341), Report of Suspected Elder or Dependent Abuse, available for download from the California Department of Social Services website. Financial Institutions must utilize form SOC 342, Report of Suspected Dependent Adult/Elder Financial Abuse, also available from California Department of Social Services web site. The written report may be mailed to : Aging and Adult Services, Adult Protective Services, 500 Ellinwood Way, Suite 300, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523; or it may be faxed to 925-602-4195.

Penalty For Failure to Report Abuse

Failure to report abuse of an elder or dependent adult is a MISDEMEANOR CRIME, punishable by jail time, fine or both. [W&I Section 15630(h)]

Confidentiality of Reporter and of Abuse Reports

The duties of mandated reporters are individual and no supervisor or administrator shall impede or inhibit the reporting duties, and no person making the report shall be subject to any sanction for making the report. However, internal procedures to facilitate reporting, ensure confidentiality, and apprise supervisors and administrators of reports may be established, provided they are not inconsistent with the reporting law. [W&I Section 15630(f)]

The reporting person, the report, and the information on the report, shall be kept confidential and may be disclosed ONLY as provided by law. Any violation of confidentiality is a MISDEMEANOR CRIME. [W&I Section 15633(a)]

Abuse that Must be Reported

Abuse of an elder or dependent adult that must be reported includes: (1) physical abuse: (2) neglect; (3) financial abuse; (4) abandonment; (5) isolation; (6) abduction. W&I Section 15630(b)]

Definitions of Abuse

Physical abuse means any of the following: (1) assault (an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on another person); or assault with a deadly weapon; (2) battery (willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person; (3) unreasonable physical constraint, or prolonged or continual deprivation of food or water; (4) sexual assault (as defined in the Penal Code); or (5) use of a physical or chemical restraint or psychotropic medication for (a) punishment, or (b) a period beyond that for which the medication was ordered, or (c) any purpose not authorized by the physician and surgeon. [W&I Section 15610.63]

Neglect means the negligent failure of any person having the care or custody of an elder or dependent adult to exercise that degree of care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise. {W&I Section 16510.57(a)]. Neglect includes, but is not limited to, the following: (a) failure to assist in personal hygiene, or in the provision of food, clothing, or shelter; (b) failure to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs (unless the sole reason is voluntarily relaying on treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in lieu of medical treatment); (c) failure to protect from health and safety hazards; or (d) failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration. [W&I Section 15610.57(b)]

Financial abuse occurs when a person or entity does any of the following: (1) takes, secretes, appropriates, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult to a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both; or (2) assists in any of these acts. [W&I Section 15610(a)]

Abandonment means the desertion or willful forsaking of an elder or dependent adult by anyone having care or custody of that person under circumstances in which a reasonable person would continue to provide care and custody. [W&I Section 15610.65]

Isolation means any of the following: (1) acts intentionally committed for the purpose of preventing, and that do serve to prevent, an elder or dependent adult from receiving his or her mail or telephone calls; (2) telling a caller or prospective visitor that an elder or dependent adult is not present or does not wish to talk with the caller, or does not wish to meet with the visitor where the statement is false, is contrary to the express wishes of the elder or dependent adult from having contact with family, friends, or concerned persons (3) false imprisonment (the unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another); or (4) physical restraint for the purpose of preventing the elder or dependent adult from meeting with visitors. [W&I Section 15610.43(a)] These acts shall not constitute isolation if they are performed in response to a reasonably perceived threat of danger to property or physical safety. [W&I Section 15610.43(c)]

Abduction means the removal from California and the restraint from returning, or the restraint from returning, of any elder or dependent adult who does not have the capacity to consent to the removal or restraint. [W&I Section 15630(b)(1)(C)]

Click on the link above to access our mandated reporter presentation.