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April 13, 2023
Michigan’s Adult Protective Services department failed to report a large number of alleged criminal acts toward vulnerable adults between 2017 and 2020, a new audit shows.
The Auditor General’s Office released a report this week showing officials at Adult Protective Services often failed to report instances in which possible criminal activity or caretaker negligence needed to be investigated.
The audit shows that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services received about 123,000 complaints of adult abuse between October 2017 and March 2020, but only assigned 70,000 investigations during the same time period, leaving approximately 53,000 cases unattended or left to wait days or weeks until they were investigated.
The report lists dozens of incidents in which a vulnerable adult was at risk, including one in which a physically disabled adult who needed a caretaker to assist them with cooking and using the restroom no longer had anyone to help them. In that event, investigators from APS only went to interview the adult in question two days after the complaint was received.
MDHHS agreed with most of the findings of the audit, but did push back on some parts of the report. Cases are not assigned for investigation when it’s determined there is not a reasonable belief that an adult is vulnerable and being harmed or is at risk of harm due to the presence or threat of abuse, neglect or exploitation, said the Health Department.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MLIVE.COM