North Carolina General Statutes require that county departments of social services provide protection services for elderly and disabled adults who are alleged to be abused, neglected or exploited and in need of protective services. As the population ages, the number of adults who become disabled increases as well. The statutes specifically address the need of the community to protect vulnerable elderly disabled adults who cannot provide or secure protection and essential services for themselves and who have no other person(s) to provide protection.
A disabled adult is defined by the statutes as any person 18 years of age or older (age 16 to 18 if lawfully emancipated minor) who is present in the state of NC., and physically and/or mentally incapacitated. When reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation are received involving elderly and/or disabled adults, an Adult Protective Services social worker will make an investigation. This investigation will include an evaluation of services needed to prevent a reoccurrence of problems. Social Services may be able to provide these services or locate other community providers.