Adult Protection Services

Vulnerable Adults

Identifying who is a Vulnerable Adult (VA) and what is maltreatment can be challenging for many different reasons. The following information may assist you in understanding vulnerable adult maltreatment reporting.

Contact: If you suspect maltreatment of a Vulnerable Adult in Otter Tail County, contact the toll free MN Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC) hotline at 1-844-880-1574. The phone line is intended for use by the general public, and is staffed 24 hours a day/7 days a week. If your situation is an emergency, call 9-1-1 to reach your local law enforcement agency.

Who is a Vulnerable Adult?

Categorical Vulnerable Adult:

  • Any person 18 years of age or older who is a:
  • Resident or inpatient of a facility, regulated by the State of Minnesota, or
  • Receives services from a facility, regulated by the State of Minnesota, or
  • Recipient of home care services regulated by the State of Minnesota.

Functional Vulnerable Adult:

  • A person 18 years of age or older who, regardless of residence or services, has an impairment or disability and because of this impairment has:
  • An impaired ability to meet basic needs without assistance, including the provision of food, shelter, clothing, health care, or supervision, and
  • An impaired ability to protect self from maltreatment.

How is maltreatment defined?

  • Physical: Hitting, slapping, kicking, pinching, biting, or corporal punishment
  • Emotional: Repeated or malicious oral, written, or gestured language or treatment that would be considered disparaging, derogatory, humiliating, harassing, or threatening
  • Mental: Unauthorized aversive/deprivation procedures; unreasonable confinement/seclusion
  • Sexual: Criminal sexual conduct 1st – 5th degrees
  • Involuntary Servitude: Forcing, compelling, or coercing or enticing a vulnerable adult to provide services for the advantage of another; and
  • Use of drugs to injure or facilitate a crime.

  • Failure or omission to provide for basic needs: food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision
  • Absence of care or services essential to maintain health and safety
  • Neglect may be by caregiver or self neglect

Financial Exploitation:
  • Person has fiduciary relationship: guardian/conservator/power of attorney/joint account/contract/documented consent/etc. and there is unauthorized expenditure of funds or failure to use funds for VA and resulting or likely to result in detriment to VA.
  • Person has no fiduciary relationship and:
    -Willfully uses / withholds/disposes of funds/property of VA
    -Obtains for self or another services to the detriment of the VA
    -Acquires possession / control / interest in VA's property / funds through harassment / undue influence / duress / deception / fraud and -Forces / compels / coerces / entices VA to perform services for another's advantage.

For additional information regarding Vulnerable Adults and Adult Protection, visit the Department of Human Services webpage: Adult Protective Services

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