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Maximizing protection and dignity of older adults through collaboration, education and advocacy.  



An Ohio free of older adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation.  



The Ohio Coalition for Adult Protective Services (OCAPS) is a statewide coalition that strives to enhance the provision of services to adults at risk of abuse, neglect and exploitation through collaboration, education and advocacy, per the mission statement adopted by the organization.


OCAPS was formed in 1984, soon after passage of the APS law in Ohio (ORC 5101.60 -5101.72). Initially, over two dozen individuals representing multiple disciplines, sectors, systems, and locales came together to form OCAPS. OCAPS was united by a common interest in APS and elder abuse.


What drove the group was working to maintain a line item for Adult Services in the 1986-1987 state budget and securing a separate line item for APS in the years ahead. The early OCAPS pioneers braced themselves for the “long haul.” The mission statement was established: To enhance the quality and provision of services for the prevention, identification and treatment of adult abuse, neglect and exploitation through education, advocacy and networking.





OCAPS envisioned the creation of a statewide presence for elder abuse that was “something to be reckoned with.” Accomplishing such a lofty goal, required starting with a winning project, the kind that would solidify the Steering Committee for OCAPS, give the group name recognition, and draw others to the cause.  The founders decided to hold a conference for this purpose. Hundreds attended from all parts of Ohio, eager for information about the APS Law and elder abuse and seeking a way out of the isolation that comes from early interest in a not-too-popular topic.


The first Annual Conference was considered only a first step for OCAPS. The dream of those who created the group was much bigger, namely:


  1. To fund the Protective Services Law for Adults;

  2. To promote additional public policy to protect vulnerable adults;

  3. To educate professionals and the public about elder abuse;

  4. To stimulate models for problem detection, prevention and treatment.


Early activities toward this end, in addition to the Annual Conference, included Elder Abuse Prevention Week designation, quarterly newsletters, fact sheets, and technical assistance to local agencies on program development. Advocacy for more funding and legislative change through testimony, letter writing campaigns, and meetings with elected and appointed public officials was also initiated.


More than thirty years later the original dream is still credible, and our mission is even more critical. OCAPS, the nation’s longest continuous state elder abuse network, has accomplished much throughout the years, thanks to a shared vision and commitment to that vision.


The challenges we face today require a renewed commitment to keep the dream alive and visible until it becomes a reality. 

OCAPS Membership gives you access to our vast community and resources. Join us today.

OCAPS is a not-for-profit organization and we depend on your support.

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