FCS expands its Adult Protective Services Program
Agency Now Serves Middlesex and Monmouth Counties
LONG BRANCH, NJ, August 15, 2013 – Family & Children’s Service (FCS), Monmouth County’s oldest nonprofit agency whose mission is to serve people at vulnerable times in their lives through education, intervention, care and counseling, was recently selected by the Middlesex Board of Chosen Freeholders to be the sole provider of Adult Protective Services (APS) for Middlesex County, expanding the agency’s APS program to two counties. The move, which took effect August 1, 2013, authorizes FCS’s APS workers to receive reports and investigate suspected cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults residing in Middlesex County. The agency already serves as the sole APS unit for Monmouth County.
“Family & Children’s Service has a long history of serving vulnerable adults. We have been providing adult protective services for more than 30 years, well before it was mandated by the state,” says FCS CEO Delly Beekman. “I am especially proud of our expansion into Middlesex County since it speaks to the dedication, professionalism and competence of our APS staff here in Long Branch.”
APS programs are required in each county in New Jersey to receive and investigate reports of suspected abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults living in the community. Vulnerable adults are defined as any person 18 years of age or older who resides in a community setting and who, because of a physical or mental illness, disability or deficiency, lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make, communicate or carry out decisions concerning his or her well-being.
Last year, FCS’s APS unit received more than 600 referrals of suspected abuse, and that number is expected to rise. APS Program manager Lisa Barnes says because Middlesex has a similar population of vulnerable adults, its anticipated the agency may handle more than 1,200 referrals a year between the two counties.
“Unfortunately, elder abuse, like domestic violence and child abuse, comes in many forms,” Barnes says. “It can happen to anyone, regardless of income or ethnicity, and can occur anywhere at anytime. No one is immune.”
Once the agency’s APS unit receives a report of suspected abuse, an APS worker is sent to assess the validity of the report. If they determine the case meets the criteria for intervention, they may recommend any number of services, from financial and medical assistance, to social and psychiatric services, to stabilize the situation and protect the client from further harm.
“Fortunately,” Barnes says, “We are able to offer some of those services within our own agency, or refer our clients to reputable, reliable outside providers. We look forward to bringing that same continuity of service to our Middlesex clients.”
To learn more about FCS’s Adult Protective Services Program, visit the agency’s website at www.fcsmonmouth.org. To report a suspected case of abuse, neglect or exploitation in Monmouth County, call 732-531-9191. To report a suspected case of abuse, neglect or exploitation in Middlesex County, call 731-745-3635.