Role of DPPC Adult Protective Services (APS) Investigators
- Conduct abuse/neglect investigations
- Assess risk
- Recommend protective service actions
- APS Investigators are from the following agencies: DPPC, DDS, DMH, MRC
At the onset every investigation, the most important task undertaken by the Disabled Persons Protection Commission's (DPPC) investigator is to assess the level of risk to the victim and other individuals; and then to develop a plan that ensures their safety. After it is certain that everyone is safe, DPPC investigators continue with the process of conducting the abuse/neglect investigation. All DPPC investigations are conducted under the authority of M.G.L. c. 19C. At the end of every investigation a determination is made as to whether abuse occurred. To make this determination, DPPC Investigators interview the alleged victim and alleged abuser and other relevant witnesses. They gather and review pertinent documentation and evidence including photographs of the injuries or the site of abuse. Upon completion of the investigation, the facts gathered are written into a report that either substantiates or unsubstantiates the abuse and/or neglect. Regardless of the findings, each investigation report is shared with the appropriate State service providing agency so that an assessment may be completed to determine whether any additional services or actions are necessary.
Role of DPPC Oversight Officers
- Assess risk to victim
- Monitor civil and criminal investigations
- Ensure protective services are provided
- Review DPPC investigation reports
At the onset of every investigation, the most important task undertaken by the DPPC Oversight Officer is to assess the level of risk to the victim and other individuals; and then to develop a plan that ensures their safety. DPPC Oversight Officers are responsible for monitoring all investigations completed under the authority of DPPC. Every case, whether investigated by an investigator from DPPC, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the Department of Mental Health (DMH) or the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), is also assigned to a DPPC Oversight Officer for monitoring. The Oversight Officer's responsibility includes ensuring the victim is safe, that the investigation is thorough and that the investigation report is accurate and timely. To accomplish this, DPPC Oversight Officers are in regular contact with investigators and their supervisors and when necessary may accompany the investigator on site visits or interviews.
In cases where victims are at risk or abuse by a caregiver has been substantiated, protective services are provided by the appropriate State service-providing agency (DDS, DMH or MRC). DPPC's Oversight Officers continue to monitor cases to ensure that all necessary protective services are implemented and until risk of harm to the victim is reduced or eliminated. Often, the Oversight Officer's involvement in a situation continues well beyond the completion of the civil and/or criminal investigations.