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Governor’s Office


Adult Protective Services

DHR Service: Adult Protective Services

This program serves persons aged 18 or over who lack the physical or mental capacity to provide for their daily needs. The purpose of the program is to prevent or remedy the abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation of adults who are unable to protect their own interests and are at risk of immediate harm to their own person or to others. The program provides professional services to protect the health, safety, and welfare of endangered, vulnerable adults.

Under the law any health practitioner, police officer, or human service worker who has reason to believe that a vulnerable adult is in danger is required to report that fact to the local department of social services. Any concerned person may also make such a report.

Persons who report the need for Adult Protective Services are protected under the law. Section 14-309 of the Family Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, states “any person who in good faith makes or participates in making a report under this subtitle or participates in an investigation or a judicial proceeding resulting from a report under this subtitle is immune from any civil liability that would otherwise result.”

All suspected cases of Adult Abuse and Neglect should be reported to your local DSS Office or by calling 1-800-91-PREVENT or (1-800-917-7383) . Click here for a list of DSS offices.

View the Adult Protective Services Brochure.