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Library: Policy

340:5-1-4. Adult Protective Services (APS) ethical considerations

Revised 9-15-21

(a) Ethical principles guide all client-related contact. • 2

(1) The APS specialist must obtain prior approval from the district director, program field representative, APS specialist IV, or designee to:

(A) handle the vulnerable adult's personal resources, such as bank accounts, cash, checks, notes, mortgages, trusts, deeds, sales contracts, stocks, bonds, certificates, or any other assets;

(B) obtain or initiate repairs, personal services, and other necessary actions to provide health care, food, or shelter for a vulnerable adult.  Verbal approval is authorized in emergency situations where immediate action is required to protect the vulnerable adult from imminent harm or significant loss of property.  The APS specialist must document all plans and the approval in the case record as soon as possible; and

(C) re-enter a client's residence that was secured, and may only enter when another person from outside of Oklahoma Human Services, such as law enforcement, is present.  When a third party is unable to accompany APS staff, the district director may approve entry when another specialist is present.

(2) The APS specialist must not:

(A) solicit, charge, request, or accept a fee, gift, reward, or payment of any kind from individuals or staff for services rendered as a volunteer, intern, or employee;

(B) use contact with the vulnerable adult or any member of the vulnerable adult's support system for personal gain or personal relationships;

(C) after termination of any assignment, make personal contact with a former client or any member of the client's support system or use former contact with a client for personal gain;

(D) buy items from a vulnerable adult;

(E) engage in any employment or business interest that would constitute a conflict of interest or impair the APS specialist's ability to carry out duties in an impartial manner;

(F) give diagnostic medical or legal opinions;

(G) refer the vulnerable adult to just one physician, attorney, counselor, or other professional for services;  • 1

(H) have sexual contact with vulnerable adults, his or her relatives, next of kin, or support system members; and

(I) make after hours home visits unless specifically approved by the APS specialist IV or designee.

(b) Response to aggression in the field.  If at any time, the APS specialist feels unsafe in the field or in a home, he or she has the authority to stop an interview and leave. The APS specialist contacts the APS specialist IV or designee immediately when the vulnerable adult or the APS specialist leaves the home or is threatened or injured in the course of the investigation.


Revised 9-15-21

1.  When only one referral for professional services is made, the reason, and Adult Protective Services (APS) district director approval must be documented in the APS Computer System Notes Section.

2APS specialists III and IV must successfully complete the APS Specialist III and IV Academy to be able to provide adequate supervisory support for an APS specialist.

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