Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Department of Human Services Provider Hub

CCS Training Module Three

Chapters 54 and 55: Dane County Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective Services in Dane County

  • Adult Guardianship Program (AGP)
  • Victim of Crime Advocate (VOCA)
  • Elder Abuse and Neglect (EAN)
  • Adults at Risk (AAR)

In Dane County, Adult Protective Services is made up of four groups of workers. First are the Adult Guardianship Program Social Workers. Second is the Victim of Crime Advocate. Third, are the elder abuse and neglect social workers; these social workers work with individuals who are 60 years of age and older. Fourth are the adults-at-risk workers; they assist individuals who are aged 18-59.

Guardianship and Protective Orders Definitions

Guardianship and Protective Orders

  • Guardianship is Mandated by Chapter 54 in Wisconsin State Statutes.
  • Protective Service/Placement Orders are Mandated by Chapter 55 in Wisconsin State Statutes.


  • The inability to effectively receive and evaluate information or communicate decisions to such an extent that the individual is unable to meet the essential requirements for his or her physical safety


  • The individual’s need for assistance in decision-making is unable to be met effectively and less-restrictively in a way that the individual will accept.

Guardianship due to Incompetence:

  • The individual’s mental condition must be likely to be permanent.
  • An MD, Psychiatrist, or licensed Psychologist must provide a written evaluation and, if needed, oral testimony, to the court.
  • Only a Judge or Court Commissioner can adjudicate incompetence.

Guardian of Person

  • Provide consent for medical care and treatment, social services and care providers, and release of records.
  • There is substantial discretion in decision-making and many gray areas such as individual preferences, lifestyle choices, friendships and associations, community involvement.

Guardian of Estate

  • Secure and manage property; preserve, retain, sell, or invest according to the law.
  • Collect income, pay bills, deliver assets to Ward.
  • Apply for benefits—public and/or private.
  • Taxes.

Protective Service System (Ch. 55)

  • Protective Placement – A primary need for care/custody as the individual is so totally incapable of providing for his or her own care/custody as to create a substantial risk of serious harm to self or others.
  • Protective Placement is needed if:
    • placement is to a facility larger than 16 beds;
    • HCPOA does not indicate CBRF/NH admit.
    • The individual is mentally ill upon admission from a hospital setting.

Protective Services

Protective Services include:

  • Involuntary Administration of Psychotropic Medication
  • Case Management
  • Counseling
  • Personal Cares & IADLs
  • Adult Day Center
  • Home Maintenance
  • Financial Assistance
  • Companion Care

Who may be involved in the Guardianship Process?

  • Petitioner
  • Proposed Ward
  • Proposed Guardian (Person and/or Estate)
  • Guardian ad Litem (GAL)
  • Advocacy Counsel/Defense Attorney
  • Judge or Court Commissioner
  • Other Interested Persons
  • Adult Guardianship Services

Less Restrictive Alternatives to Guardianship

  • Powers of Attorney
  • Conservatorship
  • Representative Payeeship
  • Joint Accounts
  • Trust Accounts
  • Voluntary Consent

AGP Community Referral Process

  • Medical report/evaluation—Court-sanctioned form that meets statutory criteria for incompetence and time limits
  • Completed AGP referral form
  • Proposed Guardian identified
  • All other persons’ legally entitled to Notice of Guardianship action
  • Ward’s financial information obtained

Guardianship Resources:

Victim of Crime Advocate

Assists victims of crimes who are 60 and over in Dane County:

  • Exercise their legal rights.
  • Make a safety plan.
  • Better understand the impact of crime and how to recover mentally, physically, and financially.

Adult/Elder Abuse and Neglect

Who is Mandated to Report?

  1. An employee of any entity that is licensed, certified, or approved by or registered with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
    • Dane County’s CCS is certified by DHS.
    • All CCS staff are mandated reporters.
  2. A health care provider.
  3. A social worker, professional counselor, or marriage and family therapist.

When Is A Report Mandated?

  • If the mandated reporter has seen an adult at risk in the course of professional duties and
    • The adult at risk has requested the person to make the report; or
    • There is reasonable cause to believe that the adult at risk is at imminent risk of serious bodily harm, death, sexual assault, or significant property loss and is unable to make an informed judgment about whether to report the risk.


  • There is no reporting required if the professional believes that filing the report would not be in the best interest of the adult at risk.
  • The reasons for not reporting must be documented in the case file of the suspected victim.

Where to Report?

  • Call the Dane County Adult/Elder Abuse and Neglect/Adults-at-Risk Helpline: (608) 261-9933
  • Contact Law Enforcement
  • Call the Wisconsin Division of Quality Assurance: (608) 266-8481

Categories of Abuse/Neglect

  • Physical Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Self-Neglect
  • Financial Exploitation

What happens after the adult/elder abuse worker is assigned the case?

  • Assess for safety.
  • Provide assistance based on the person’s need and agreement for services.
  • Assist the individual with remaining in the least restrictive environment.

Self Determination

Competent adults have the right to:

  • Decide how and where to live.
  • Choose whether to accept or decline services.
  • Make decisions different from those most people in society would make, including bad decisions.

Call the EAN/AAR Helpline at (608) 261-9933

View the presentation slide-show

Microsoft PowerPoint format