Ohio’s Adult Protective Services (APS) system consists of 85 programs administered by counties and supervised by the APS Section of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). This report presents findings from the most extensive assessment of this system ever conducted. Between March 2020 and June 2021, the research team, including Measurement Resources’ Sheri Chaney Jones and Alyssa Pettey Rockwood, in partnership with APS staff at ODJFS, aimed to understand the different ways APS programs operate in Ohio, what ODAPS can teach stakeholders about APS, and why APS programs appear to handle cases differently. The research team organized this work around three activities:
- Survey of Ohio Adult Protective Services (SOAPS)—An online survey of 85 local APS programs in Ohio. The survey had 100% participation and asked questions about the organizational characteristics, practices and resources used by different programs.
- Ohio Database for Adult Protective Services (ODAPS)—Analyzed 20,486 allegations involving 14,920 unduplicated clients from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. The dataset included information on clients, alleged perpetrators, case investigations, and reporting parties.
- Program Highlights—Met with agency staff from 6 diverse counties to learn more about what makes their APS program noteworthy and what advice they would have for other, similar counties. These results were compiled in Ohio APS Program Highlights — series that helps align the quantitative results in the experiences of frontline APS staff.
Key findings validated that self-neglect is the most common type of allegation; clients who refuse services are more likely to have recurrent reports; funding matters; and most instances of elder maltreatment are probably never reported to APS. The study also found that although multiple program models produced success outcomes, the most promising characteristics that predicted high-performing programs included larger staff size, some staff dedicated to APS, and regular opportunities to share complex cases with an I-Team.