Adult Protective Services
At-risk adults are persons age 18 and older who are unable to provide or obtain services necessary for their health, safety, and welfare OR who lack the capacity to make or understand responsible decisions. Conditions that increase risk include dementia, physical or medical frailty, developmental disabilities, brain injury, behavioral disorders, and mental illness.
How to Report
It is the law that any person who has reasonable cause to believe that a disabled person is in need of Protective Services must report the case the county Social Services Department (NCGS 108A-102). The reporters identity is kept confidential unless a court of law orders disclosure.
If you suspect an at-risk adult may be experiencing mistreatment or is self-neglecting his or her basic needs, call the Carteret County DSS at (252) 728-3181 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. After hours, on weekends and holidays, call (252) 726-1911 and request for an on-call social worker. A social worker will listen to your concerns and document all information given. The following information is needed when making a report:
- Name, age, and address of the disabled adult
- Name and address of caretaker (if applicable)
- Nature of abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation
- Other pertinent information
When a Report is Received
The allegations in the report will be screened to see if they meet the legal definition of abuse, neglect, or dependency. The department has jurisdiction only when the alleged mistreatment falls within legal definitions and was committed or allowed by the parent or caretaker. If the allegations and alleged perpetrator meet these criteria, an investigation is opened. If a report is not accepted for investigation/assessment, the person reporting the abuse has a right to challenge this decision through an agency review process.
Learn More About Reporting to APS
Below is helpful information when making a report but, even if you don't have all this information and you think an at-risk adult is being mistreated, you should still make a report.
If your call is about caretaker neglect:
If your call is about exploitation:
If your call is about physical abuse or sexual abuse:
If your call is about self-neglect: