Reporting Abuse and Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult
Who Must Report - Mandated Reporters
Effective August 1, 2013 in North Dakota, these professionals and individuals are required to report abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.
TRAINING - Online Training for Mandatory Reporters (September 2014)
Others Who May Report
- Any other person may voluntarily report to the N.D. Department of Human Services or to law enforcement.
When to Report
- A mandated reporter must report if in an official or professional capacity, he or she:
- has knowledge that a vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse or neglect; or
- observes a vulnerable adult being subjected to conditions or circumstances that reasonably would result in abuse or neglect.
- Important: A mandated reporter is required to report as soon as possible.
How to Report
- NEW - Online Reporting System (NOTE: You MUST USE INTERNET EXPLORER for the online reporting system to function. To add Victim or Perpetrator information, scroll down to the bottom of report and hit “Add.”)
- NEW - Contact the central intake line 1-855-462-5465 to make a report by phone. NOTE: The Aging and Disability Resource LINK - Vulnerable Adult Protective Services intake line is answered weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Central Time. Please leave a message, including your contact information, if you call after hours.
IMPORTANT: If you believe a vulnerable adult is in immediate danger of serious injury or danger, call law enforcement first before making a report to the Aging Services Division.
What to Include in the Report
To the extent reasonably possible:
- Name, age, and residence address of the alleged vulnerable adult.
- Name and residence address of the caregiver (if any).
- Nature and extent of the alleged abuse or neglect or the conditions and circumstances that would reasonably be expected to result in abuse or neglect.
- Any evidence of previous abuse or neglect.
- Any other information that, in the reporter's opinion, may be helpful in establishing the cause of the alleged abuse or neglect and the identity of the individual responsible for the alleged abuse or neglect.
- Any person required to report who willfully fails to do so is guilty of an infraction and subject to a fine up to $1,000.
- “Abuse” means any willful act or omission of a caregiver or any other person which results in physical injury, mental anguish, unreasonable confinement, sexual abuse or exploitation, or financial exploitation to or of a vulnerable adult.
- “Neglect” means the failure of a caregiver to provide essential services necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of a vulnerable adult, or the inability or lack of desire of the vulnerable adult to provide essential services necessary to maintain and safeguard the vulnerable adult’s own physical and mental health.
- “Vulnerable adult” means an adult who has a substantial mental or functional impairment.
- "Substantial functional impairment" means a substantial incapability, because of physical limitations, of living independently or providing self-care as determined through observation, diagnosis, evaluation, or assessment.
- "Substantial mental impairment" means a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behavior, or ability to live independently or provide self-care as revealed by observation, diagnosis, evaluation, or assessment.
Additional definitions are found in North Dakota Century Code section 50-25.2-01 available at www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t50c25-2.pdf?20130702181453.
- Pocket Card: Abuse HURTS at Any Age...recognize it and report it (May 2015) (251kb pdf)
- Fact Sheet: Vulnerable Adults Protective Services (VAPS) (199 kb pdf)
- Fact Sheet: Mandatory Reporting of Abuse or Neglect of Vulnerable Adults (June 2015) (144kb pdf)