The mission of Adult Services is to assist older and disabled adults and their families through programs and services that provide protection and support, and enhance the dignity and independence of adults. An overview of potential services offered by the Adult Services unit is listed below.

*Eligibility requirements differ depending on the program.*

APS Social Workers provide protective services to disabled adults, 18 years of age or older who are alleged to be abused, neglected, or exploited and in need of protection. APS Social Workers evaluate the reports and assess the disabled adult’s capacity to consent for services.

To report instances of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a disabled adult, you may call, write, or visit the Adult Protective Services Unit at the New Hanover County Department of Social Services. You can make a report 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The adult protective services hotline number is (910) 798-3420. If you need to make a report after 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, on the weekend or a holiday, please call 911 and ask to speak to the social worker on duty. Our office is located at 1650 Greenfield Street, Wilmington, NC 28402. Your name will be kept confidential.

Adult Home Specialists (AHS) monitor, investigate complaints, and provide assistance to adult care homes and facilities in New Hanover County.  If any problems are identified during routine monitoring of the facilities, the AHS is responsible for ensuring that a corrective plan is completed and the problem is corrected.

The Adult Services unit provides case management for recipients of state Adult Day Care funds, so that adults have access to an organized program of services during the day in a community group setting for the purpose of supporting their personal independence and well-being.  The Adult Day Care programs in New Hanover County are licensed by the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services and monitored by the Department of Social Services.

The Adult Services unit provides case management for Medicaid-eligible adults who are at risk for abuse, neglect, or exploitation to assist them in gaining access to needed medical, social, educational, and other necessary services.

Guardianship Services are provided to individuals who are alleged to be mentally incompetent and to individuals who are determined to be mentally incompetent by the court and need a guardian. Guardianship may be necessary when an adult is unable to manage their own affairs or make important decisions about their medical or mental health care, money management or housing.  An adult’s competency and the appointment of a legal guardian are decided by the Clerk of Court.  When an adult is found to be incompetent, a family member or friend may be appointed named legal guardian.  If there is no one who can serve as legal guardian when an adult is found to be incompetent, the department of social services may be appointed by the clerk to serve as guardian for the adult.

The Adult Services unit provides case management and in-home aide services to elderly and disabled adults who need assistance with essential home management tasks, such as light housekeeping, limited shopping and transportation, to enable them to remain in and function safely and effectively in their own homes as long as possible.

The Adult Services unit assists aging or disabled adults and their families with finding substitute homes or residential health care facilities (such as adult care homes or nursing homes) suitable to their needs when they are no longer able to live safely in their homes or have care needs that cannot be met in their current living situations.

The Adult Services unit provides case management for recipients of Special Assistance (SA) In-Home financial assistance.  The program  assists Medicaid eligible adults in need of adult care home level of care with the support necessary for them to remain safely and effectively in their own homes as long as possible.

To be eligible for the Special Assistance In-Home Program, an individual must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Be a New Hanover County resident;
  • Have a completed FL-2 requiring care in a licensed adult care facility but desire to live at home or another private living setting;
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Qualified Alien;
  • Fully qualify for Medicaid;
  • Meet Special Assistance eligibility requirements;
  • Must be able to have health, safety and well-being maintained with appropriate services, such as in-home aide services, home modifications, case management services and needed supplies; and
  • Must have unmet financial needs.

How to Apply for Services

Requests for information or assistance can be made in person at the New Hanover County Department of Social Services, by phone at 910-798-3500, or in writing to 1650 Greenfield St., Wilmington, NC 28401.

Social Services: 1650 Greenfield Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-3500 • Fax 910-798-7824