Help Protect Vulnerable Adults: Reporting Concerns

Sensitive Content Warning: The following content discusses sensitive topics including emotional and physical abuse, reporting abuse, and harm to vulnerable adults. 

Information provided by DSHS’ DDA

Do you know how to report abuse? 

Abuse takes many forms. It can be physical, financial, verbal, emotional, and neglectful. Abuse can come from strangers, caregivers, friends, and others.

Signs to look for:

  • Injuries, bruises, sores or weight loss that happens for no known reason.
  • A change in mood or personality, such as being afraid around a particular person or place.
  • Poor hygiene and signs of neglect such as not bathing, wearing dirty clothes, not taking medication and living in an unsafe home.
  • Money or belongings that go missing or being pressured into giving money and things to someone.
  • Being yelled at, threatened or made to feel bad or less worthy.

If you think you or someone you know is being abused or neglected, take action

  • Call 1-866-END HARM (1-866-363-4276) for children and adults.

  • Make an online report to Adult Protective Services (for adults only)

  • Call or email your DDA case manager. If you do not know who that is visit to find a DDA office and talk with a DDA employee.

To report a crime, physical, or sexual abuse or a life-threatening situation call 911.

Reporting Concerns Involving Vulnerable Adults 

If you suspect harm, you can report online or by phone.

The online form is for reporting complaints or concerns involving vulnerable adults residing in licensed long-term care settings (nursing homes, adult family homes, assisted living, and enhanced care facilities, ICF/IID, or receiving supported living services) and complaints and concerns involving vulnerable adults residing in the community. You can make reports online seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Once you complete the report, you will receive a confirmation number.

All reports will be screened by Adult Protective Services and/or Residential Care Services. If the person is in immediate danger, call 911. You do not need proof to report suspected abuse and you do not need to give your name.

If you are an employee making a mandated report on behalf of a licensed long-term care facility or certified supported living agency, please complete the Residential Care Services Online Report.

When making a report you will be asked to give the person’s name, address, contact information, and details of why you are concerned. You will be asked your name and contact if any investigator has follow-up questions. Unless there is court action, law enforcement has been called, or you have agreed, your identity is confidential.

After making a report, a DSHS staff member may contact you (the reporter) for more information.

For more information, reporting online, and contact information please visit

Links to Other Resources

Printable PDF on Reporting Abuse





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