Maximizing protection and dignity of older adults through collaboration, education and advocacy.
An Ohio free of older adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
HISTORY OF OCAPS
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:
To fund the Protective Services Law for Adults;
To promote additional public policy to protect vulnerable adults;
To educate professionals and the public about elder abuse;
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.
Researches and pursues funding, leadership and growth opportunities for the organization. Responsibilities include overseeing OCAPS Membership, coordinating and implementing marketing and outreach, continual development of funding, grant management and programs, as well as organizing OCAPS internal elections.
Monitors OCAPS financial activity, meeting at least quarterly. Responsibilities also include reviewing and maintaining Directors' and Officers' Liability insurance; preparing an annual operating budget; reviewing the annual financial audit and recommending to the full Board selection of independent auditors.
Public Policy Committee
Provides a pro-active response to legislation and policy issues related to the prevention and treatment of elder abuse. Develops and implements an advocacy plan for increased funding/resources to fully implement Adult Protective Services and elder abuse laws. Studies and identifies gaps in existing state and federal elder abuse legislation. Identifies policy issues within advocacy organizations' statewide networks. Maintains and disseminates updated information on pending and current legislative and public policy issues relevant to Adult Protective Services.
The Conference Committee serves to emphasize the development of increased skills, knowledge, and abilities of APS professionals and community partners. Each year, the committee plans and hosts a dynamic conference that covers diverse topics related to the abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults.
Consists of the Chair, Vice-Chair Chair Elect, Immediate Past Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Educates legislators, constituents, stakeholders and the community.
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OCAPS is a not-for-profit organization and we depend on your support.