Office for Victims of Crime
State-level Replication Guide
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Adult Protective Services in Massachusetts

The flowchart below depicts adult protective services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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Adult Protective Services in Massachusetts
Adult Protective Services in Massachusetts

Descriptions of the agencies that make up adult protective services follow:

  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). Oversees 17 state agencies, including most of the agencies that make up adult protective services, and is represented in the Governor's Cabinet.
    • Department of Children and Families (DCF). Works for the safety, permanency, and well-being of children up to age 17 who have been abused and neglected in family settings or by recognized caregivers.
    • Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Provides support and services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
    • Department of Mental Health (DMH). Works to improve the quality of life for adults with serious and persistent mental illness and for children with serious mental illness or severe emotional disturbances.
    • Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). Helps persons with disabilities to live independently and work.
    • Department of Public Health (DPH). Licenses and certifies health facilities, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home health agencies. The department also investigates complaints of patient abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities.
    • Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA). Provides services to individuals age 60 and older and investigates allegations of abuse and neglect against these individuals who are living in the community, outside of long-term care facilities, hospitals, and home health agencies.
  • Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC). Investigates and remediates instances of abuse against adults with disabilities between ages 18 and 59, filling the gap between DCF and EOEA. DPPC is independent of EOHHS.

DPPC, an independent state agency, works closely with DDS, DMH, and MRC. These agencies, which all provide services to persons with disabilities, each have a protective services division and an investigations unit. They partner with the state's attorney general, 11 district attorneys' offices, local and state police, and others to implement the Building Partnerships for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities Initiative (BPI). DPH and EOEA are not directly implementing BPI but are on the BPI Steering Committee. DCF is not part of the implementation.