This Adult Protective Services (APS) toolkit would not have been possible without the generous contributions from numerous county APS system workers, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) staff, and the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources. The APS toolkit contains numerous policies, procedures, forms, and best practices for APS in Wisconsin as supplied by county APS departments statewide. The contents of this toolkit did not originate from DHS and should not be considered “official” DHS forms. The contents are intended to be used and/or modified to meet the needs of an individual county and are by no means meant to be mandatory. This toolkit will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure the content continues to be relevant.

Please contact with comments or questions about the toolkit.


The purpose of intake is to manage information regarding reports alleging abuse/neglect or risk of abuse/neglect of Adults-at-Risk who are unable to protect themselves; to determine whether the information reported is within the scope of services provided by Adult Protective Services (APS).


The purpose of Response and Investigation is to evaluate the nature of the report and determine the best course of action to meet the needs identified by the caller.

Needs - Risk

The goal of Intervention is to reduce or eliminate risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.  This is achieved through thorough risk assessment, presentation of options in a fashion that can be understood by the adult-at-risk and/ or their decision maker, and contact with necessary collaterals. Some interventions may be voluntary and some involuntary. Once these steps are completed the case can be considered for closure.

Voluntary - Non-Emergent Services
Involuntary - Emergent Services
Emergency Protective Placement
Protective Placement
Protective Services
Case Findings - Case Closure

Case findings are a reflection of the investigation and the information gathered pertaining to the essential defining elements of the alleged abuse or neglect.  They are based upon the investigator's evaluation of credible information gathered as to whether or not the abuse or neglect has occurred. 

Case closure is an important distinction to make in the life of an investigation.  It signifies that the investigator is no longer assessing needs or risk, determining findings, or service planning.  To the extent reasonable, the investigator has presented the recommended and available service options, if any, and determined that the adult-at-risk and/ or their decision-maker, if any, has the ability to evaluate and make a choice regarding these options.  To the extent reasonable, the investigator has made the appropriate referrals to other agencies and resources.

APS Screened Out Letter
Case Closure Policy
Case Findings Policy
Diligent Efforts to Locate Adult - Elder At Risk
Investigation Intake Report Summary

Documentation Resources

The purpose of documentation is to support findings, provide information should the case reoccur, and provide necessary information for continuity of care to referral agencies. Documentation provides a detailed and reliable case history, baseline data, evidence for involvement (APS and/ or legal), and justification for staff and funding for program. Documentation also provides valuable data for research into rising trends and evidence-based practice.  Data collected can be used for advocacy, resource allocation, and public awareness.

APS Face Sheet
APS Referral Tracking Log
APS Toolkit Spreadsheet
Financial exploitation - Data-Collection spreadsheet
Guardianship Tracking Log
Minimum Standards of Documentation Policy
POA Tracking Log
Referral Packet Cover Sheet

Staff and Training Resources
APS Policy and Procedure Samples
APS Staff Training Resources
Case Notes Samples
Community Training Resources
Law Enforcement Training Resources

Self-Assessment for Law Enforcement

Milwaukee County APS Training Materials for MCO Staff
National APS Education Resources
County Authored Publications
DHS Safety Networks Memos
I-Team M-Team Resources
MOU Resources
WITS Resources
Worker Safety Resources