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. From there... 

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.