Families and friends of disabled adults can help prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation of these individuals by looking out for some tell-tale signs and taking action.
The North Carolina Adult Protective Services Law applies to any disabled adult or emancipated minor who might be abused, neglected or exploited and might be in need of protection. The law prohibits:
• Abuse – willful infliction of physical pain, injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement or willful deprivation by a caregiver of services necessary to maintain mental or physical health.
• Self-neglect – disabled adults who lives alone and have no caregiver and are unable to provide necessary services to maintain mental or physical health.
• Caretaker neglect – failure of a caregiver to provide services necessary to avoid physical harm or mental anguish and to maintain mental health of the disabled adult.
• Exploitation – illegal or improper use of a disabled adult or his or her resources for another’s profit or advantage.
Reporting Abuse and Neglect
Anyone who suspects abuse, neglect or exploitation of a disabled adult is required by law to report it to the county Department of Social Services (DSS). Confidentiality is guaranteed.
County DSS representatives may be reached at these numbers:
Franklin County – (919) 496–5721
Granville County – (919) 693–1511
Person County – (919) 599–8361
Vance County – (252) 492-5001
Warren County – (252) 257–5012
In any county, call 911 to reach local public safety emergency services after 5 p.m. or on holidays and weekends.
Be prepared to provide as much of this information as possible about the disabled adult:
• Name and address
• Age or birth date
• Caregiver/caretaker’s name (if any)
• Explain the situation and why you feel the person needs protection
• Mental or physical condition of the adult (Is this individual disabled?)
• Names of others who may help provide information regarding the situation (if available)
• Community Advisory Committees (CAC)
General Statute that governs your Board(s)
• Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee
• Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee:
• Regional Information/Facilities