$1.1 million in emergency funding approved for Adult Protective Services after CBS4 investigation
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 25, 2016) – Governor Mike Pence’s office Thursday announced details for emergency funding for Adult Protective Services. The news comes after a CBS4 investigation, exposing problems within a struggling adult and elderly care system.
Senator Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) tells CBS4 $1.1 million will be made available immediately to help fund the need for more Adult Protective Service investigators.
CBS4 found the current budget total of just under $3 million funded only 30 total investigators for the state, meaning many victims of abuse and neglect weren’t getting the attention they needed and regulations at a state level were falling short. The Family and Social Services Administration told CBS4 they investigated a total of 9,500 cases of abuse in 2015.
In a statement to CBS4, representative’s with Governor Mike Pence’s office said:
“Governor Pence takes the health and well-being of our most vulnerable Hoosiers very seriously. We have reached an agreement with Senator Kenley and the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council to provide additional funding in the near term. Additionally, Family and Social Services Administration is working on a plan to improve the state’s Adult Protective Services Program, which will guide us in our conversations about appropriate funding levels in the future.”
Lawmakers agree the funding is needed on an emergency basis, but a permanent solution needs to be made.
“We need to make a permanent resolution in next year’s budget as to how to handle this,” said Senator Luke Kenley(R-Noblesville).
Senate Bill 192 will be heard next week in the Senate, after passing the House. The bill aims to fund a study to determine how much money is needed in the general budget for APS and what regulations and reporting standards would help protect Hoosier adults in need.
Indiana Prosecuting Attorney Council Executive Director, Dave Powell said they’ll continue to work with state agencies to look at the current model for APS and make improvements.
“There’s been very little change to it over the years and that’s been what you’ve seen in your investigation. It’s kind of at a tipping point. We’ve really not put any more money or resources into this for years and yet our elderly population is growing and it will continue to grow,” Powell said.
APS investigator, Jerry Kiefer said the additional funds are a great step in the right direction.
“The 1.1 million in emergency funds is a welcomed step in reducing the problems and shortfalls associated with the Adult Protective Services program. For over 14 years I’ve been the only investigator for 3 counties. Now, if an additional investigator is hired, I can be out of the office for whatever reason and know there is someone to provide backup . We hope the funding comes quickly,” he said.