The Citizen Potawatomi Nation has a much-needed new program called Adult Protective Services (APS). The necessity for such services has significantly increased in the past couple of years. Janet Draper, Director of Indian Child Welfare (ICW), along with her competent staff has brought such needs to the attention of some of the main CPN directors who work with adults and elders. As the director of ICW, Ms. Draper has visited children and adults in more than a hundred homes across the CPN service area for many years. During the past couple of years, Ms. Draper’s staff members have observed that more and more adults are in need of various protective assistance.
Tribal members in need of protective assistance is of great concern for all CPN program directors and managers that deal with adults. A committee of CPN representatives from administration, elder assistance, housing, ICW and social services have begun to meet on a monthly basis to help identify adults who may be in need of intervention. A representative from the clinic will soon join the committee.
What is adult protective services? Adult Protective Services (APS) provides protection and assistance to vulnerable Tribal adults who are victims of an alleged incident of abuse, neglect or exploitation. If the Tribal adult is unable to make decisions concerning their health and welfare, the APS worker will seek out a family member to become their guardian. If a family member or friend of the family is not available to become a guardian, there may be a need for a Tribal representative or attorney to file for temporary guardianship. In this case, a permanent guardian will be appointed by the court as soon as possible.
There are many signs of adult abuse including: neglect, financial abuse, psychological abuse and physical abuse. Printed brochures are available through the Tribe, which contain information that is provided in this article. If you would like a brochure or if you would like to find out more about the APS program, please contact 405-878-4831 or fax 405-878-4659. There are trained individuals with certified credentials within the ICW program to assist with your concerns. If you suspect abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable Tribal adult, please call the number listed above to make a report. If you suspect criminal conduct, call your local law enforcement agency or dial 911.
I hope you appreciate this updated news, which I believe to be an extremely important endeavor for CPN. I cherish the opportunity to continue to be your Vice-Chairman.
(Black Bird Woman)
Adult Protective Services
FireLodge Children & Family Services
1601 S. Gordon Cooper Dr.