The New Jersey Department of Human Services announced on Tuesday it received a grant for more than $1 million from the U.S. Administration for Community Living to improve reporting and tracking of elder abuse, exploitation and neglect.
Through its Division of Aging Services (DoAS), Human Services will use the three-year grant, at $350,000 per year, to design and build a statewide database for its Adult Protective Services (APS) provider network. This will create a single, standardized and streamlined client information system and improve data quality.
“As our population ages, we have an obligation to help ensure that older New Jerseyans are safe and well cared for in our communities,” said New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “Building a standardized way to identify, track and assess outcomes for elder abuse, neglect and exploitation is key to achieving that goal. We are pleased New Jersey has secured these federal resources to advance our efforts to protect our older residents,” Johnson said.
APS agencies in the state’s 21 counties receive and investigate reports of maltreatment of vulnerable adults living in the community and takes appropriate steps to ensure the health and safety of those it services.
“With this grant we will consolidate databases into a single, secure client and provider information system,” said DoAS Director Louise Rush. “This will be a big step forward in our efforts to combat elder abuse, exploitation and neglect.”
The APS network includes health care professionals, law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians mandated by state law to report suspected cases of vulnerable adult abuse neglect or exploitation to their county APS office.
Anyone who suspects abuse, neglect or exploitation of such a person is urged to call their local APS agency or, in an emergency situation, 911 or their local police.