Department of Social Services
The Adult Services Section with 37 employees consists of Adult Protective Services, In-Home Supportive Services and provides oversight of the Public Authority which is the employer of record for IHSS service providers.
Adult Protective Services (APS)
The Adult Protective Services program protects and assists elderly and dependent adults from neglect, abuse, or exploitation. Staff members receive and investigate complaints of elder and dependent adult abuse/neglect. APS social workers work with family members and coordinate various community resources to help resolve current issues and prevent future instances of abuse.
The APS program has grown considerably in recent years. Due to the general publicís awareness of elder abuse issues through various outreach efforts on the federal and state levels, Imperial County is now receiving two to three times more referrals monthly than were received in the last three years.
Statistics for the past year reflect that Imperial County APS receives an average of 67.5 reports of abuse each month. Of those, about 39.4 reports met the criteria to open a case for investigation. Of the cases opened for investigation, abuse is confirmed in 66.5 percent of the cases.
In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)
The IHSS program provides domestic and personal care services to eligible aged, blind and disabled individuals so that they are able to remain safely in their homes. IHSS staff determine program eligibility and visit clients in their homes to assess their needs. Upon approval, the clients may hire providers of their choosing to perform the authorized services in their home. The providers submit time sheets twice monthly to the IHSS office for processing and payment. Since many of the providers work for more than one client, approximately 10,000 time sheets are processed monthly.
The IHSS program is undergoing many regulatory and structural changes as a result of a federal waiver and new legislation. All IHSS clients must now meet the eligibility criteria for Medi-Cal in order to qualify for IHSS. A Quality Control component has been added and implemented to ensure correct and timely eligibility determinations.
The IHSS program has experienced rapid growth in Imperial County in recent years, expanding from just over 2,000 active cases in January 2000 to over 4,500 cases in September 2005. Approximately 3,500 service providers are employed at any given time.
The Adult Services section has oversight responsibility for the Public Authority which serves as the employer of record for IHSS providers. It operates a registry of providers to assist clients in locating and hiring providers for their specific needs. The Public Authority shares office space at the Adult Services location and is currently staffed by an executive director and two office support staff.