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Reporting Abuse and Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult

How to Report

If you have a concern about possible abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect of someone who might be a vulnerable adult, learn how to report your concerns by viewing this infographic.

To make a report, you can use the online reporting system or the reporting form option (NOTE: This reporting FORM does not work in Google Chrome.) Reports and calls are responded to within two working days.

IMPORTANT: If you believe a vulnerable adult is in immediate DANGER of serious injury, CALL law enforcement first before making a report to the Aging Services Division.

FACT: Reporters' names and reports are CONFIDENTIAL

  • OPTION 1 - Use the Online Reporting System
  • OPTION 2 - Complete and submit a Reporting Form (SFN 1607 Report of Vulnerable Adult Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation) (NOTE: This reporting FORM does not work in Google Chrome.) Send the completed form by using the LINK on the form, emailing it to dhsvaps@nd.gov.
  • OPTION 3 - Make a report by telephone. Call the central intake line at 1-855-462-5465, "Press 2". 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.

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. "Qualified individuals" were added to the list of mandatory reporters effective August 1, 2017, following the passage of 2017 Senate Bill (SB) 2322.

For details, see 2017 N.D. Senate Bill 2322 and 2013 N.D. Senate Bill 2323.

TRAINING - Online Training on how to report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults (Updated April 2020)

Others Who May Report

  • If you see something, please say something. Any person can make a 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.

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.

Other Resources


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