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Reporting Abuse and Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult

Vulnerable Adult Protective Services watermark image

How to Report

If you have a concern about possible abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect of someone who might be a vulnerable adult, learn how to report your concerns by viewing this infographic.

IMPORTANT: Adult Protective Services is NOT an emergency service. If you believe a vulnerable adult is in immediate DANGER of serious injury, CALL law enforcement first before making a report to Vulnerable Adult Protective Services.

FACT: Reporters' names and reports are CONFIDENTIAL

  • OPTION 1 - Use the Online Reporting System (LINK)
  • OPTION 2 - Complete and submit a Reporting Form (SFN 1607 Report of Vulnerable Adult Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation)
    • Send the completed form by using the LINK on the form, emailing it to dhsvaps@nd.gov or Fax to (701) 328-8744.
    • IMPORTANT: To ensure the Submit Button works, please download and open the form in Adobe Acrobat. SEE INSTRUCTIONS on the State Forms website at www.nd.gov/eforms.
  • OPTION 3 - Make a report by telephone. Call the central intake line toll-free at 1-855-462-5465, "Press 2".
    • NOTE: The Vulnerable Adult Protective Services intake line is answered weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Central Time. Please leave a message, including your contact information, if you call after hours.

TRAINING LINK - Online Training on how to report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults (Updated April 2020)

Who Must Report - Mandated Reporters

In North Dakota, these professionals and individuals are required to report abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.

Qualified individuals (means any agent, investment adviser representative, or person who serves in a supervisory, compliance, or legal capacity for a broker-dealer or investment adviser)

Others Who May Report

  • If you see something, please say something. Any person can make a report to Vulnerable Adult Protective Services or to law enforcement.

When to Report

A mandated reporter must report if in an official or professional capacity, he or she:

  • has knowledge that a vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse or neglect; or
  • observes a vulnerable adult being subjected to conditions or circumstances that reasonably would result in abuse or neglect.
  • Important: A mandated reporter is required to report as soon as possible.

What to Include in the Report

To the extent reasonably possible:

  • Name, age, and residence address of the alleged vulnerable adult.
  • Name and residence address of the caregiver (if any).
  • Nature and extent of the alleged abuse or neglect or the conditions and circumstances that would reasonably be expected to result in abuse or neglect.
  • Any evidence of previous abuse or neglect.
  • Any other information that, in the reporter's opinion, may be helpful in establishing the cause of the alleged abuse or neglect and the identity of the individual responsible for the alleged abuse or neglect.

Penalty

  • Any person required to report who willfully fails to do so is guilty of an infraction and subject to a fine up to $1,000.

Definitions

  • Abuse” means any willful act or omission of a caregiver or any other person which results in physical injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement, sexual abuse or exploitation, or financial exploitation to or of a vulnerable adult.
  • Neglect” means the failure of a caregiver to provide essential services necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of a vulnerable adult, or the inability or lack of desire of the vulnerable adult to provide essential services necessary to maintain and safeguard the vulnerable adult’s own physical and mental health.
  • Vulnerable adult” means an adult who has a substantial mental or functional impairment.
    • "Substantial functional impairment" means a substantial incapability, because of physical limitations, of living independently or providing self-care as determined through observation, diagnosis, evaluation, or assessment.
    • "Substantial mental impairment" means a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behavior, or ability to live independently or provide self-care as revealed by observation, diagnosis, evaluation, or assessment.

Additional definitions are found in North Dakota Century Code section 50-25.2-01 available at www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t50c25-2.pdf?20130702181453.

Other Resources

Adult and Aging Services Division Contact Information:

Adult and Aging Services Division
1237 W. Divide Ave., Suite 6
Bismarck, ND 58501
ND Aging & Disability Resource-LINK 1-855-462-5465 or (701) 328-4649
711 (TTY)
Email: carechoice@nd.gov
Fax: (701) 328-8744

 

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