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 activities offered include, but are not limited to, exercise groups, arts and crafts, educational events, music and religious programs. Participants are also served lunch.
New Hanover County can pay for transportation to and from the day care program, if needed. The number of days a person attends the daycare each week ranges from two to five days, based on the participant’s and caregivers needs, day care center’s availability and funding.
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.
There are no income guidelines or co-pays to participate in this program, but a financial need or burden does have to exist to be eligible.
To be eligible for Adult Day Care, the person must be 18 years or older and have physical and/or cognitive deficits that require supervision or socialization. Participants who require medication administration and/or assistance with personal care such as feeding, ambulation and toileting during the day are still eligible but would fall under a higher level of care program called Adult Day Health. The social worker assigned to assess the participant will help make the determination regarding which program best fits the participants needs.
Contact New Hanover County’s Social Services at 910-798-3506 to be placed on an inquiry list and then a social worker will call to set up an assessment.
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 county’s Adult Services unit within DSS provides case management for recipients of Special Assistance (SA) In-Home financial assistance and in-home aide services. The program assists Medicaid-eligible adults in need of home-level care with the support necessary for them to remain safely and effectively in their own homes as long as possible. Case managers conduct in-depth assessments to determine an individual’s ability to live at home, like the functional status of the client and need for care and services, availability of family, friends, and neighbors to provide care and services, availability and access to care and services from agencies and other formal service providers, ability to pay for housing, and availability of affordable and safe housing. If a person is determined to be able to remain safely at home with the right assistance and support, this program provides a financial supplement and helps to develop a care plan with the needed services for the person to live at home.
To be eligible for the Special Assistance In-Home Program, an individual must:
Contact New Hanover County’s Social Services at 910-798-3795 for a social worker to set up an assessment.
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.