Office of Children and Family Services

Adult Protective Services

The Problem

To report adult abuse, call (within New York State only): 1-844-697-3505 between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. or contact the local, county social services department’s Adult Protective Service bureau.

Victims of adult abuse, neglect and financial exploitation include, among others:

  • The frail elderly
  • Adults with dementia
  • Adults with developmental disability age 18 and older
  • Adults with chronic or acute mental illness age 18 and older
  • Adults with physical disability age 18 and older
  • Adults with substance abuse age 18 and older

The Number of APS Referrals

The number of referrals made to APS has increased significantly in recent years. In 2014, there were 44,367 APS referrals statewide, which is an increase of more that 77 percent since 1997.

Year APS Referrals Statewide
2015 44,986
2014 44,367
2013 41,775
2012 39,613
2011 38,131
2010 36,681


Tip of the Iceberg


However, even with the increasing number of cases reported to APS, studies show that the number of cases reported are merely the "tip of the iceberg."

An OCFS-funded study, Under the Radar: New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study (2011), compared the number of elder abuse cases reported to APS, law enforcement and other authorities (the documented case study) with the number of cases reported by seniors in extensive interviews conducted by the researchers (the self-reported study). There was a dramatic gap between the two studies. In looking at all forms of abuse, researchers found that for every one case reported to APS or other authorities, there were 23.5 other cases that were not reported. The results were even more striking for financial exploitation (1:43.9) and neglect by others (1:57.2). The study estimated that 260,000 older adults in New York State had been the victim of at least one form of elder abuse in the preceding year.

Review of Recent APS Data

A review of recent APS data shows:

  • More than 60 percent of APS referrals are for persons age 60 and older.
  • Just under 40 percent of APS referrals are for persons age 18 to 59.
  • Approximately 71 percent of all APS referrals are for "self-neglect" (an inability, due to physical or mental impairments, to perform tasks essential to caring for oneself).
  • Approximately 28.3 percent of all APS referrals are perpetrator-related risks (physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect by others, financial exploitation).

Of the perpetrator-related risks, the greatest number of reported risks are: financial exploitation (approximately 36.8 percent of perpetrator-related risks) and neglect by others (approximately 31.1 percent of perpetrator-related risks).