Adult Protective Services

The Adult Protective Services (APS) Program is part of the Adult Advocacy Division of the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS).   The APS Program has the responsibility to investigate reports of maltreatment and provide protective services to vulnerable adults who are eighteen (18) years of age or older, resides within the community setting and is experiencing abuse, neglect or exploitation.

Adult Protective Services Mission Statement

Protect vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation by investigating and providing temporary assistance until risk is minimized and services are secured.

Adult Protective Services Purpose

Provide intervention and protection for Vulnerable Adults, who cannot provide care or protection for themselves, in a manner that ensures attention will be given to the Adult’s right to self-determination, lifestyle and culture. These services must be provided in the least restrictive environment as determined by the Adult’s level of care and safety.

Statutory Authority

The Omnibus Adult Protection Act ( the APS Program the authority to investigate noncriminal reports of alleged abuse, neglect, and exploitation of Vulnerable Adults occurring in community settings such as the adult’s home.

APS Principals

  • Whenever possible, a vulnerable adult’s right to self-determination should be preserved.
  • Vulnerable adults have the right to be free from abuse, neglect and financial exploitation and reside in the least restrictive environment possible.
  • Adults have the right to make decisions that may not be considered “normal” as long as these decisions do not harm others.
  • Adults have the right to accept or refuse services.

To report suspected Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult, call  1-888-CARE4US (1-888-227-3487).

Click Here To Report Abuse/Neglect Online



Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.