Adult Protective Services Mandated Reporters: What you need to know

Adult Protective Services protects adults 60 and over and incapacitated adults from abuse, neglect or exploitation. 

While everyone is encouraged to report suspicions of abuse, neglect or exploitation to Adult Protective Services, the Code of Virginia, § 1606 identifies certain people as “mandated reporters” under the law.

Who are mandated reporters?

  • Mental health service providers
  • Emergency medical services personnel certified by the Board of Health
  • Guardians or conservators of an adult
  • People employed by or contracted with a public or private agency or facility and working with adults in an administrative, supportive, or direct care capacity
  • People providing care to an adult for pay such as companion, chore, homemaker and personal care workers
  • Law-enforcement officers
  • People licensed, certified, or registered by the following Commonwealth of Virginia boards:
    • Board of Audiology and Speech Pathology: audiologists; speech-language pathologists; school speech-language pathologists
    • Board of Counseling: licensed professional counselors; certified substance abuse counselors; counseling assistants; certified rehabilitation providers; marriage and family therapists; licensed substance abuse treatment practitioners
    • Board of Dentistry: dentists and dental hygienists
    • Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers: funeral establishments, services providers, directors, and embalmers; resident trainees; crematories; surface transportation and removal services; courtesy card holders
    • Board of Long-Term Care Administrators: nursing home administrators
    • Board of Medicine: doctors of medicine, surgery, osteopathic medicine, podiatry, and chiropractic; interns and residents; university limited licensees; physician assistants; respiratory and occupational therapists; radiological technologists and technologists limited; licensed acupuncturists; certified athletic trainers
    • Board of Nursing: registered nurses; licensed nurse practitioners; licensed practical nurses; clinical nurse specialists; certified massage therapists; certified nurse aides
    • Board of Optometry: optometrists
    • Board of Pharmacy: pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and technicians; permitted physicians; medical equipment suppliers; restricted manufacturers; humane societies; physicians selling drugs; wholesale distributors; warehousers
    • Board of Physical Therapy: physical therapists and physical therapist assistants
    • Board of Psychology: school, clinical, and applied psychologists; sex offender treatment providers; school psychologists – limited
    • Board of Social Work: registered social workers; associate social workers; licensed social workers; licensed clinical social workers

What must mandated reporters report?

  • Suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of older adults who are 60 and over or incapacitated adults who are 18 and over
  • The name, age and address or location of the alleged victim, where the incident occurred and information about the circumstances of the incident

When should reports be made?

According to Virginia law, reports should be made immediately.

 Who should be contacted

  • Fairfax County Adult Protective Services at the 24-hour Hotline, 703-324-7450, TTY 711
  • Adult Protective Services and law enforcement when the incident involves:
    • Sexual abuse
    • Serious bodily injury, disease or death believed to be caused by abuse or neglect
    • Criminal activity involving abuse or neglect that places the adult in danger of death or serious bodily harm

Is there a penalty for mandated reporters who fail to report?

Mandated reporters may be fined up to $500 for the first failure and up to $1,000 for subsequent failures.

Appropriate licensing, regulatory or legal authorities are informed for administrative action or criminal investigation.

What rights do mandated reporters have?

  • Immunity from civil and criminal liability unless the reporter acted in bad faith or with a malicious purpose
  • A right to have his/her identity kept confidential unless a court orders the reporter's identity be revealed or the reporter consents to reveal his/her identity
  • A right to know whether the report was investigated


If you suspect abuse, neglect
or exploitation call:

Purple Ribbon

 Adult Protective Services
TTY 711
24 hours a day
7 days a week


For information on
additional services contact:

Aging, Disability and Caregiver Resources Line
TTY 711

Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Or apply for services online

Online Request for
Service Information























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