2013-06-20 / Community

State institutes tool for adult abuse cases

As abuse increases, investigation changes

LANSING – The Department of Human Services recently unveiled the Michigan Model Vulnerable Adult Protocol, or MI-MVP. The new protocol becomes the standard for the joint investigation of vulnerable adult abuse, neglect and exploitation statewide.

MI-MVP is a collaboration involving DHS, the Michigan Attorney General’s office, The Michigan State Police and the Office of Services to the Aging. The new protocol is mandated under PA 175 of 2012, Social Welfare Act, MCL 400.11(b).

Elder abuse and adult victimization is increasing across Michigan.

In fiscal year 2012, Adult Protective Services received over 25,000 referrals alleging abuse, neglect or exploitation of individuals over the age of 18. These residents may be unable to protect themselves due to dementia, mental illness or physical disability.

APS anticipates that number of referrals to climb closer to 30,000 in fiscal year 2013.

None of those calls take into account contacts made by law enforcement, emergency medical services, and others that don’t come directly into APS.

By using the new protocol, MI-MVP will help local communities protect and serve older and vulnerable persons. The investigation of cases involving the victimization of these individuals will follow by increased collaboration and communication among agencies. Ideally, the protocol will also allow for local communities to customize and adapt it, as needed, based on their own unique resources and needs.

“Prior to this protocol, the law mandated that Adult Protective Services investigate and give its report to the prosecutor, not necessarily to law enforcement, and vice versa,” said DHS Director Maura Corrigan. “Now, we have streamlined the process, and will share information from the beginning in these cases. That’s a great start toward helping safeguard this vulnerable population.”

MI-MVP will also allow, for the first time, protective services workers to take photographs during their investigation with the consent of the client. The goal will be to increase overall awareness between law enforcement and APS in reviewing a situation for criminal activity, so that more and better prosecution occurs thanks to better communication and partnering in all cases.

“Protecting seniors and our most vulnerable requires a team effort,” said Bill Schuette, Michigan Attorney General. “We’re pleased to announce this new approach to guide those who protect and serve our seniors every day.”

DHS remains dedicated to working closely with our partners, public and private, along with local communities to ensure protection and improved services to our vulnerable adult population.

To view the new MI-MVP protocol in its entirety, visit www.michigan. gov/ documents/ dhs/ DHS-Pub-269_ 423962_ 7.pdf.

For the latest on the Department of Human Services, please visit www.michigan.gov/dhs

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