340:5-1-1. Adult Protective Services (APS) authority, core principles, and mission
(a) APS was created to meet the requirements of the Protective Services for Vulnerable Adults Act, per Sections 10-101 et seq. of Title 43A of the Oklahoma Statutes.
(b) APS assists vulnerable adults who are unable to meet their own needs, or who are reported to be suffering from physical or verbal abuse, neglect, self-neglect, personal degradation, or exploitation.
(c) The vulnerable adult is the APS client. APS respects the client's right to self-determination and approaches service planning and intervention with sensitivity to the client's perception of his or her situation and needs. An objective assessment of the circumstances and need for involvement is made. • 2
(d) APS intervention and service planning are client-centered. The vulnerable adult alleged to need protective services, is an Oklahoma Human Services client. While outcomes desired by the reporter, family members, or other caretakers are considered, APS intervention and service planning are client-centered. • 1 & 4
(e) The APS specialist maintains professional objectivity when providing for or arranging services for vulnerable adults, whether services are paid for by the client or from private or public funds.
(f) Protective service plans are developed with the knowledge and approval of the client, when possible. When involuntary services are necessary to protect the life or estate of a client, guardianship is pursued with careful consideration of the effect on the client's psychological and emotional needs. Service planning focuses on services that meet the vulnerable adult's needs in the least intrusive and least restrictive manner possible. • 3
(g) APS program goals are, to:
(1) reestablish and maintain a stable level of functioning approaching the client's maximum potential;
(2) reestablish and maintain the client's family and community relationships;
(3) assist the client to remain in the community as long as possible;
(4) ensure that the client who lacks capacity to consent, receives involuntary court-ordered services; and
(5) assist the client in obtaining appropriate institutional care, when less restrictive services are not available.
(h) APS is responsible for program planning, staff training, technical assistance, quality assurance, and policy development. APS district directors assist in this process by providing local support for APS staff. • 5
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:5-1-1
1. Adult Protective Services (APS) staff recognizes the complexity of family relationships, and approaches family caretaker issues with sensitivity and compassion.
2. When the APS specialist determines that the client recognizes and understands the consequences of his or her choices, the client's decision is respected even when an allegation of maltreatment is substantiated.
3. The APS specialist must consider if available resources offer a positive alternative to the current situation from the client's perspective, unless the situation is an emergency, and the client lacks decision-making capacity.
4. (a) When the APS specialist has questions concerning policy issues, he or she consults with the primary APS specialist IV or designee for resolution. When the primary APS specialist IV or designee is unavailable to answer the questions, staff may consult the primary APS specialist III, APS specialist IV in another unit, or the APS district director. All difficult issues are staffed with the APS district director. APS State Office staff addresses questions concerning policy, procedures, and protocols when the primary APS specialist III, APS specialist IV or designee, and the APS district director are unavailable. In all cases the Community Living, Aging, & Protective Services (CAP) director serves as the final authority for interpreting APS policy.
(b) APS district directors are responsible for all personnel issues.
(c) APS staff, or the APS district director refer questions regarding legal issues to Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Legal Services (LS). In emergencies involving temporary guardianships the APS specialist IV or designee refers the APS specialist directly to LS or the office of the district attorney in the county of jurisdiction.
(d) When an APS specialist is subpoenaed to testify in court regarding an APS case, receives an order to release information, or receives an order to testify at a deposition, the APS specialist, following consultation with the APS specialist IV or designee:
(1) notifies APS State Office;
(2) contacts LS to review what information may be divulged. The APS specialist includes the APS specialist IV and district director on correspondence with LS;
(3) emails a copy of the subpoena or order to LS before other contact is made;
(4) documents contact with LS and receipt of the subpoena or court order in the APS Computer System; and
(5) scans a copy of the subpoena or court order into the case record in the APS Computer System Files Section.
5. An APS specialist may appear in court without a subpoena, and with approval of the APS specialist IV or designee, to support a client's family member or other interested person, to obtain a Title 30 guardianship or to assist a client in filing a protective order.