Lansing, Mich. June 13, 2012 – The Department of Human Services has announced the Michigan Model Vulnerable Adult Protocol, or MI-MVP. The new protocol becomes the standard for the joint investigation of vulnerable adult abuse, neglect and exploitation statewide. MI-MVP was officially unveiled by DHS Director Maura Corrigan at the Michigan Summit on Elder Justice/At-Risk Adults held today in Grand Blanc.
MI-MVP is a collaboration involving DHS, the Michigan Attorney General’s office, The Michigan State Police and the Office of Services to the Aging. The new protocol is mandated under PA 175 of 2012, Social Welfare Act, MCL 400.11(b).
Elder abuse and adult victimization is increasing across Michigan.
• In fiscal year 2012, Adult Protective Services (APS) received over 25,000 referrals alleging abuse, neglect or exploitation of individuals over the age of 18. These residents may be unable to protect themselves due to dementia, mental illness or physical disability.
• APS anticipates that number of referrals to climb closer to 30,000 in fiscal year 2013.
• None of those calls take into account contacts made by law enforcement, emergency medical services, and others that don’t come directly into APS.
By using the new protocol, MI-MVP says it will help local communities protect and serve older and vulnerable persons. The investigation of cases involving the victimization of these individuals will follow by increased collaboration and communication among agencies. Ideally, according to DHS, the protocol will also allow for local communities to customize and adapt it, as needed, based on their own unique resources and needs.
“Prior to this protocol, the law mandated that Adult Protective Services investigate and give its report to the prosecutor, not necessarily to law enforcement, and vice versa,” said Corrigan. “Now, we have streamlined the process, and will share information from the beginning in these cases. That’s a great start toward helping safeguard this vulnerable population.”
DHS says MI-MVP will also allow protective services workers to take photographs during their investigation with the consent of the client. The organization says the goal will be to “increase overall awareness between law enforcement and APS in reviewing a situation for criminal activity, so that more and better prosecution occurs thanks to better communication and partnering in all cases.”
“Protecting seniors and our most vulnerable requires a team effort,” said Bill Schuette, Michigan Attorney General. “We’re pleased to announce this new approach to guide those who protect and serve our seniors every day.”
To view the new MI-MVP protocol in its entirety, visit www.michigan.gov/documents/dhs/DHS-Pub-269_423962_7.pdf.
For more on the Department of Human Services, visit www.michigan.gov/dhs