I previously published on this blog Guardian ad Litem Attorney Challenges in the Era of COVID-19, which explored the complications the current pandemic has posed for Guardians ad Litem (“GALs”) in Chapter 35A incompetency and guardianship proceedings. Given these challenges and other developments, GALs may see an increase in the number of Adult Protective Service (“APS”) petitions being filed under Chapter 108A. This could be good news for GALs and their clients in some situations; however, GALs also need to be aware of the potential risks that could go along with a rise in APS petitions.
My colleague, Margaret Henderson, and I are excited to announce a new SOG resource – Human Trafficking of Minors and Young Adults: What Local Governments Need to Know. Youth are particularly vulnerable to traffickers. County and municipal staff in many departments have either spontaneous or deliberate interactions with youth that provide opportunities to lessen those vulnerabilities, identify indicators of trafficking, and intervene when appropriate. Download the bulletin on the School of Government’s website, here.
This 36-page bulletin is organized into three parts. Continue Reading
Yesterday, the application period opened for a free workshop we will be hosting September 26-27, 2019 at the School of Government in Chapel Hill.* The purpose of the workshop is to bring together stakeholders from around North Carolina to create and grow multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) to address elder abuse in their respective communities. You can learn details about the workshop and apply here. Only teams will be accepted to attend the workshop. This post provides additional information to consider if you and others in your community are interested in forming a team and submitting an application. Continue Reading
The county department of social services (DSS) receives a report that a 65-year old woman, Mary, was injured by a family member who repeatedly hit her during a dispute that took place at Mary’s home. Mary lives with her adult daughter, Patricia, and son-in-law, Frank. The report includes a statement that Mary has been recently diagnosed with dementia and has not left the house in more than a month. After finding the necessary allegations to screen the report in as an adult protective services (APS) report, the case is assigned to an APS caseworker who commences an evaluation to investigate the report further and determine whether Mary is a disabled adult subject to abuse, neglect, or exploitation and in need of protective services. See G.S. 108A-103.
When the caseworker goes to visit Mary as part of the evaluation, Frank refuses to allow her in the home. The caseworker returns multiple times and each time is denied entry and access to Mary. The caseworker determines that it is not possible to complete the evaluation without meeting with Mary. Is there anything that she can do to gain access to the home and thus to Mary? Continue Reading