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Examining the Delivery of Services to Vulnerable Adults in the Arizona Adult Protective Services System


Although several State agencies, other public entities, and nonprofit organizations have roles and responsibilities related to Arizona’s adult protective services system, the primary agency and program responsible for protecting vulnerable adults in the State is the Arizona Department of Economic Security’s (DES) Adult Protective Services Program (DES APS). However, the system lacks a strategic direction, no single State agency has been assigned the responsibility for providing case management for all vulnerable adult cases that DES APS has referred to services during and after an investigation, and the system lacks key outcome data. To address these gaps, DES should work with the Governor, President of the Arizona Senate, and the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives to establish and appoint members to a working group to develop a strategic direction; work with the working group to develop a report that identifies the working group’s roles and responsibilities and identifies any authority, resources, legislation, or other action needed to ensure the working group’s ongoing success in identifying and implementing the strategic direction; and work with the working group to address the additional gaps the examination identified, including determining whether a specific State agency should be assigned the responsibility of case management services to help ensure that vulnerable adults receive the services they have been referred to after a DES APS investigation, and, identifying a system-wide performance-reporting process that could compile performance and outcome information on an annual basis to assess the effectiveness of Arizona’s strategic direction.