County of Marin Health and Human Services

Adult Protective Services Ethics and Best Practice Guidelines

  • The concerns of elders and dependent adults are the starting point of any intervention.
  • Elders and dependent adults:
    • Have the right to make decisions that do not conform to societal norms as long as these decisions do not harm themselves or others.
    • Are presumed to have decision making capacity unless a court adjudicates otherwise.
    • Have the right to accept or refuse services.
  • Adult Protective Services social workers:
    • Avoid imposing personal values on elders and dependent adults.
    • Respect the elder's and dependent adult’s right to keep personal information confidential.
    • Recognize and value individual differences including cultural, historical and personal beliefs of elders and dependent adults.
    • Honor the right of elders and dependent adults to receive information about their choices and options in a form or manner that they can understand.