Services to Clients with Pets

Banfield Charitable Trust gave APS a multi-year grant in 2014 to purchase items and services for pets of clients who are victims of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. The goal is to address situations where clients refuse services to avoid losing pets or leaving them without care when there is no help available from family or neighbors or other community resources. The grant allows APS to pay for food, grooming, veterinary care, health certificates, boarding, pet medications and other necessities as long as the pet will be reunited with the client. Helping clients care for their pets can make them more likely to cooperate with a service plan to remedy abuse or neglect. Also, the positive effects that pets can have on their owner's physical and mental health are well documented.

APS drafted a new policy on pets and trained APS staff around the state on this new program. In FY 2015, APS assisted 99 pets of clients.

Partnership with WellMed

In 2012, the Administration on Community Living gave APS a grant to test, measure, and put in place new approaches to preventing elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, as well as to study risk factors to improve prevention efforts.  WellMed Charitable Foundation is APS' primary partner in this effort.

APS and WellMed developed a screening tool for physicians consisting of six questions endorsed by the World Health Organization.  WellMed uses this tool in their clinics in San Antonio, Austin, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and El Paso to help identify those at-risk for abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. It also helps identify caregivers suffering from burnout. APS embedded two APS specialists with WellMed in San Antonio to provide training, technical assistance, and case consultation at WellMed clinics.

By the end of FY 2015, APS had trained over 800 WellMed staff on APS protocols and reporting.  Physicians used the new tool in over 8,500 screenings and over 100 caregivers were referred to get help.  

The partnership increased communication and collaboration between APS and WellMed when providing services to the same person.