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Reporting Adult Abuse

dsslogo Elderly Abuse Reporting Legislation Effective July 1, 2004

Governor Warner's Adult Protective Services (APS) Act (Senate Bill 318 and House Bill 952) was passed by the Virginia General Assembly and became effective on July 1, 2004. The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) is responsible for administering the APS program. To provide additional safety and protection for vulnerable elderly and incapacitated adults, this act identifies “mandated reporters.”

EMS Providers are Mandated Reporters

Virginia EMS providers, volunteer and career, are identified as one of these mandated reporters. Mandated reporters must report the following to APS and law enforcement:

  • Suspected sexual abuse, death, serious bodily injury or disease believed to be the result of abuse or neglect. Applies to an adult 60 years of age or older or an adult 18 years of age or older who is incapacitated and is being abused, neglected or exploited. Mandated reporters must report the situation immediately to the local department of social services in the locality where the adult resides or where the abuse is believed to have occurred. You may also make reports to the 24-hour, toll-free VDSS APS hotline at 1-888-83ADULT.
  • Any other criminal activity involving abuse or neglect that places the adult in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury Mandated reporters must report to the appropriate medical examiner and law enforcement agency when there is reason to suspect that a vulnerable adult died as a result of abuse or neglect.

Mandated reporters must cooperate with APS workers throughout an investigation and make available any information, records or reports that document the basis for their abuse report.

The identity of mandated reporters is confidential unless disclosure is authorized by the reporter or ordered by the court. Anyone who files a report or provides records or information in a suspected adult abuse case is immune from civil or criminal liability due to their reporting or releasing of information.

EMS Volunteer and Career EMS Agency Responsibilities

If you are an EMS agency, volunteer or career, you must notify your volunteers and/or employees of their mandated reporter status and their responsibilities for reporting. VDSS training materials will be posted on the Adult Services Web site -


Last Updated: 04-15-2013

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