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I was preparing a home for a friend/client to receive some equipment and material to repair her home when adult protective service (APS) came to the door and asked to see my friend. I said I will check with her, that she was under heavy meds and was asleep. I went to get her. I got her up and took her into the living room and the worker had walked in and was searching the home. I did not even have time to get my friend dressed. Can APS just walk in without being invited?

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Are you certain it was actually APS? I've heard a lot recently about folks impersonating APS to gain unlawful entry.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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notgoodenough Jul 14, 2020
That's exactly what I thought.
I would call them and make sure it was actually APS. Did they show any sort of ID?
If it wasn't, file a report with your local police department right away.
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No. Make a formal complaint.

APS probably do, depending on circumstances, have the legal right to insist on entry into a person's home. But the way you describe this situation, this is about codes of conduct rather than the law as such.

At the very top of the form we fill in at Every Single Visit, it reads, on the checklist:

"Consent gained for support (consider the client's mental capacity to consent): Y/N.
Details if consent could not be gained............................................................................"

Similarly, that worker from APS ought to have waited for your friend's explicit consent to enter the home, let alone to begin searching it.

Assist your friend to make a formal complaint. You can find out from APS themselves what the correct procedure is; and then the aim is for workers on that team to be reminded that there are protocols and they do need to be followed.

Consent needs to be given for:
entry into the home
any actions taken while in the home
recording of information
forwarding of information

When APS is investigating a concern, they do of course have various legal tools at their disposal simply because some of the people most at risk won't be able to give their consent whether through incapacity, coercion, illness, whatever. But in this case it seems there was nothing to stop the worker waiting a reasonable time for you to bring your friend in, and then asking your friend's permission to begin the visit. Plain disrespectful, I call it. I hope you get a satisfactory response and an apology on your friend's behalf.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Pasa18 Jul 14, 2020
Countrymouse, It does not sound like this was a legal entry or that consent was given to enter the home. I agree that a complaint should be made.
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RevRon, I concur with Barb and NotGoodEnough, as well as Countrymouse on the broader issues.

Did this woman offer any ID?  Was she carrying notebooks or anything in which she could take notes?   And, although I hate to ask it, has anything been missing?
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RevRon Jul 19, 2020
Me or my friend have not noticed any thing missing. She was carrying a notebook. And we found out later that she had a concealed camera on her person. She had a badge, but I did not look at it to closely
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Just my opinion, but this is still the United States of America, with freedoms granted that no one can enter your home without permission. Without a warrant. Or exigent circumstances?

A part of what this country is founded on. Freedom.

We should continue to exercise that right well into our elder years.
The authority can make an appointment, come back later, or call for back-up in most cases. Has anyone ever experienced a swat team entering one's home just because a prankster called swat?

Authorities attempting to gain access should be stopped at the door until an elder has a witness present, identity is confirmed, and the elder says yes or no. One can always pick up the phone and call 911 themselves.

APS, CPS have been over-stepping their authority for too long. imo.
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Dora1956 Jul 19, 2020
Yes. Have the RED FLAG LAWS made it possible for APS to enter like this?? That kind of entry Is very scary!
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APS role is to make sure older adults are safe and well cared for in their current living situation. Frail, ill and confused seniors are as vulnerable as children. APS will only come to investigate if someone has called them with a concern. They are supposed to arrive unannounced so guilty caregivers don't have time to make the situation right. The APS workers role is to make sure the older adult is not in danger, has food, and is being well cared for with no signs of neglect. If you are not hiding anything, why would you not let them in? If you refuse to allow them to enter, they will return with a police escort and things may get ugly from there. Like in previous answers, you must do your due diligence by checking their ID to verify who they are and contact the office to make sure they are who they say they are- too many scams going on these days. If the senior is found to be in a not-ideal-but-safe situation, APS can assist in helping to rectify the situation to make it safe. They can make referrals to get help for the senior and their caregivers. One such referral may be to a geriatric care manager. But if the home is found to be profoundly unsafe, or it is an abusive/neglectful environment then they will, and should, remove the older adult from the home and get them to the hospital. From there, discharge planners will professionally determine if going home is a safe discharge plan, or if putting services and equipment in the home can make home be a safe discharge plan. If returning home is out of the question then they will find appropriate placement for the senior. The bottom line: if the home is safe and the older adult is well cared for, there should be no reason not to let APS into the home (after they have been verified). Not letting them enter the home sends up many red flags and speaks volumes. What are you hiding? There is nothing to worry about if everything is safe and as it should be but if not, the caregiver or family member deserves to be "caught with their pants down", arrested and brought up on abuse/neglect charges. How can any upstanding person not cooperate in the process of making sure a vulnerable senior is safe?
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Reply to Agingwellbflo
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Ask permission first.

IF permission is refused, by the person whose house it is (even if that person is the subject of concern), then the worker may have to insist on the right of entry, with the backing of law enforcement if necessary. But only if!

We have a similar issue with reporting. There are certain safeguarding and welfare issues which, if they come to light, we must report; and we must report them with or without the person's agreement. But we'd much rather gain the agreement, and there is usually a way to achieve it - it only wants a little tact and consideration.

Barb raises an essential point about checking identity before granting access - a timely reminder, it's the sort of thing we all know we ought to do but...
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If your friend was "under heavy meds" I hope you hung around to make sure every thing was on the up and up. Did they show any paperwork, or fill any in? This sounds fishy to me too
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RevRon Jul 19, 2020
There was no paper, but they did have a concealed camera on there person, we found out later
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Sorry to give you this answer,but they can. Someone must have called them. They have good intentions. And usually they will work with you to help clear up anything wrong. Do not fight against them for it will not help. Stay blessed and continue to do the right thing.
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Babs75 Jul 19, 2020
Someone reported my dad back in 2018 when he still lived in his house. I actually found APS to be very helpful, although there wasn't much they could do at the time except offer suggestions. I don't remember them ever coming into dad's house uninvited. I think we were mostly outside. My dad should not have been living on his own back then. We really wanted him to get help but he wouldn't allow it. APS told me to get guardianship, which I did.
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If in doubt I would not let them in period. I would call 911, let the police come and adjudicate. The police should know if they are allowed in or need a court order or whatever. That is the police's job.
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OkieGranny Jul 19, 2020
Great answer!
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As a former state elder care manager, I assure you APS is not your enemy. My agency provided these services when there was a question of elder abuse or unsafe living conditions. However, any concerned person(neighbor , case worker, professional care giver etc ,or relative) may make a report to APS. Not all reports are valid , but APS workers have to investigate circumstances. Also we used to have the police do "well being" checks on elders living alone. We did this when the elder didn't answer phone or a knock on door. BTW, as a care manager, I had to call clients in advance of visit. APS has somewhat more leeway, but should always show ID and be respectful.
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