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Adult Protective Services Guardianships


Guardianships and Other Involuntary Interventions




Adult Protective Services has a unique responsibility to seek to protect vulnerable adults who appear to lack the capacity to protect themselves.


When we believe that there is a serious threat to an adult’s well-being and that the adult is incapable of making decisions on his or her own behalf because of impairments, Adult Protective Services has a responsibility to pursue appropriate legal interventions to protect the individual, even if the vulnerable adult has not agreed to or opposes such intervention. However, we must employ the least restrictive intervention necessary to effectively protect the adult. The decision to seek an involuntary intervention is never taken lightly.


It is important to note that Adult Protective Services itself has no legal authority on its own to remove any person from their home or other setting, or to take any involuntary action.


Adult Protective Services must request action from the court or some other official authorized to take involuntary action (e.g., law enforcement, mental health, or developmental disabilities officials.)


Crisis interventions, that can be sought if the person, because of an impairment, is incapable of making the choices necessary to remove the endangering condition, include:


    • Short-term involuntary protective services orders
    • Orders of protection
    • Admission to a psychiatric facility
    • Admission to a developmental center
    • And long-term involuntary interventions, such as seeking guardianship of persons who lack capacity and need protection to care for their person, their property, or both


John H. Mulroy Civic Center
421 Montgomery Street, 5th Floor
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: 315-435-2815


Mental Health Services

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