How do I Report Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation to Adult Protective Services?

  • Call the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Jackson County at (715) 284-3978  Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30 and ask to speak with an Adult Protective Services Social Worker. Call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department to report on holidays and weekends at 715-284-5357. For an immediate life threatening emergency call 911.
  • Email the attached APS Referral Form to [email protected] Please be sure to fill out as much information as possible on the form.
  • In-person at 421 County Road R, Black River Falls, Wisconsin 54615 go to the front desk and ask for an Adult Protective Services Social Worker and/or complete a referral form and return to the front desk.

Will the Victim Know You Made a Report?

  • Wisconsin State Statutes protects the reporter of possible abuse and neglect’s name and identifying information from being released per Ch. 46.90(6). Abuse and neglect reports and information given to Jackson County Adult Protective Services remain confidential.

Who Can Make a Report to Adult Protective Services?

  • Anyone can report alleged abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation on the behalf of someone who is age 18 and older.

When I call to Make a Referral What Kind of Information Will I Need to Give?

  • The reporter will give as much detail as possible to help the Adult Protective Services Social Worker gather information for their investigation.
  • Some details will include the person’s name, D.O.B., marital status, address, phone number, where the individual is currently living, source of income, and if the individual has a medical diagnosis that may hinder their ability to make sound decisions.
  • The reporter will also be asked about the incident and the reason the reporter is making the current referral including when the incident occurred, if there are any other witnesses, and what happened (type of maltreatment).
  • The reporter will also be asked about the alleged abuser’s name, relationship to the victim, their address, phone number, and other relevant contacts to the victim.

What Happens After a Report is Made to Adult Protective Services?

  • A report is made via phone, email, or in-person with concerns about the welfare of an older adult or an adult-at-risk.
  • The details provided in the report will be screened by the Jackson County- Adult Protective Service Social Workers to evaluate if it meets the statutory requirements for APS services in the State of Wisconsin.
  • If the reported concern meets criteria for abuse, neglect, or exploitation, an APS worker will initiate face-to-face contact with the adult needing assistance.
  • The APS worker will then assess the adult’s safety, need for assistance, and determine what services, if any, would be beneficial to maintain his/her well-being and independence.

What Happens If The Person Says They Do Not Want to Receive Any Services From Adult Protective Services?

  • Adults with mental capacity have the right to exercise their right to self-determination in deciding whether to accept services. Adult Protective Services will offer services but ultimately it is up to the adult to accept help. If there are questions about the adult’s mental capacity, then a mental health evaluation will be pursued to determine if court-ordered interventions should be provided.

What Are the Different Types of Abuse?

Physical abuse:

May be defined as any act which results in a non-accidental physical injury. Indicators of physical abuse:

  • Beating, slapping, pushing, or kicking
  • Restrictions on freedom of movement, such as confining the victim in the bedroom
  • Overmedication
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Withholding food or water

Financial Abuse:

The mismanagement of money or stealing property belonging to the elder or adult at risk. This can include:

  • Theft (the act of stealing)
  • Extortion (taking money or property through pressure, threats, or intimidation)
  • Fraud (taking money or property be deception or misrepresentation)

Emotional Abuse:

The verbal harassment, threats, or other intimidating behavior that results in fear, agitation, confusion, severe depression, or other form of serious emotional distress.

Sexual Abuse:

Sexual contact without consent as detailed in Wisconsin Sexual Assault Statutes 940.225 (1), (2), (3), and (3m). 

Treatment Without Consent

The administration of medication to an individual who has not provided informed consent, or the performance of psychosurgery, electroconvulsive therapy, or experimental research on an individual who has not provided informed consent, with the knowledge that no lawful authority exists for the administration or performance.

Unreasonable Confinement or Restraint

Includes the intentional and unreasonable confinement of an individual in a locked room, involuntarily separation of an individual from his or her living area, use on an individual of physical restraining devices, or the provision of unnecessary or excessive medication to an individual, but does not include the use of these methods in entities regulated by the state if the methods or devices are employed in conformance with state and federal standards governing confinement and restraint.

Financial Exploitation

Obtaining an individual’s money or property by deceiving or enticing the individual or by forcing, compelling or coercing the individual to give, sell for less than fair market value, or in other ways convey money or property against his or her will without his or her informed consent. Financial Exploitation includes theft, substantial failure or neglect of a fiscal agent (guardian of estate, conservator, power of attorney, representative payee) to fulfill his or her responsibilities, unauthorized use of the individual’s personal identifying information or documents, forgery and financial transaction card crimes.


Failure of a caregiver to provide basic necessities such as adequate food or water, clothing, shelter, medical treatment, or personal care creating significant risk to the individual’s physical or mental health.


The desertion of an elder or dependant adult by anyone having care or custody of that person under circumstances in which a reasonable person would continue to provide care and custody.


A significant danger to an individual’s physical or mental health because the individual is responsible for his or her own care but fails to obtain adequate care including food, shelter, clothing or medical or dental care.