Adult protective agency requests donation

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

An agency that works to protect vulnerable adults, including the elderly, will need funding help in the future.

Adult Protective Services will be fine for this year, but will likely need support next year, Agency Director Rob Haseman told the Dubois County Council Monday.

“I know a lot of times people have never heard of us. And the big reason for that is that we deal with adults,” he said. “Dealing with adults, there’s privacy issues with that. So if I was to work a case on someone, for me to release any information about that case, they would have to sign a release form, much like HIPAA.”

Adult Protective Services is a state agency that investigates reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and assists in obtaining services for endangered adults, who are those 18 and older. That can be cases of battery, neglect, exploitation or self neglect.

“We get reports of adult endangerment,” Haseman said, “take in the report, investigate it, take any number of actions to help that person, or, in extreme cases, prosecute that person.”

The area office is based in Washington and serves Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Knox, Martin and Pike counties. Haseman has been with the agency since 2009.

From May 2009 to April 2021, the agency has been involved in 1,297 cases in Dubois County.

“Typically, it’s about one case or call for service every three days,” Haseman said. “For the most part, it’s going to be for the elderly.”

As the hub county, Daviess County has been subsidizing the agency’s budget because it does not get enough from the state to cover the entire program.

At first, Adult Protective Services was going to be short about $50,000 this year, which would have been a major blow to the agency’s budget. So the Daviess County prosecutor asked the agency to reach out to all the counties it serves to request funding, Haseman said. He found out Friday that the state is going to make up that shortfall. Haseman has never seen happen before, he said.

“So that’s the good news,” he said. “Bad news is the disclaimer on that — it’s only going to be for this year.”

County council members seem to be open to supporting the agency.

“After learning that Daviess County has been subsidizing this this whole time and we haven’t contributed one iota to it,” Councilwoman Charmian Klem said, “that bothers me immensely.”

Council members will consider adding funding for the agency to the 2022 budget. They did not decide on an amount, which means they will discuss it at a later date, after they review the information Haseman gave them.

The council also:

• Established the corrections construction fund and appropriated $9.6 million into the fund. Money in the fund will be used to cover the costs for making the improvements to the security and community corrections centers.

• Appropriated a total of $290,500 for highway equipment, including single-axle dump truck, flatbed truck, sport utility vehicle, sanitation chassis; $180,000 to cover work costs on two bridges; $85,000 for a sanitation truck; $11,885 as a payment for the extra hours of emergency COVID work for the health department and emergency management agency directors; $7,000 for highway vehicle insurance; $4,846 for a one-time 911 director salary overlap; $4,600 to cover the costs of an election maintenance agreement for the county’s poll pads for last year’s elections; $4,445 to pay Astro Security to make improvements to the security speakers; $4,000 for sanitation insurance; $2,700 for ambulance CPR mannequins; and $2,000 for workman’s compensation insurance.

• Consented to advertise using up to $4,500 from the sex offender fund for training; using $1,715 from the clerk’s perpetuation fund to purchase a copier from Hoosier Business Machines; and using $600 to pay two county election board members, Roger Messmer and John Birk, for election board meetings that are being held this year, which is a non-election year.

• Heard an update from Northeast Dubois Superintendent Bill Hochgesang about cameras that have been installed on school buses.

• Received the county health department’s annual report.

• Met Chelsea Brewer, the health and human sciences educator with Dubois County Purdue Extension.

• Heard that the committee looking at converting polling places into voting centers will hold its first meeting at 6 p.m. May 17. That meeting will be open to the public, County Clerk Amy Kippenbrock said.




More on DuboisCountyHerald.com