Social Work Services

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Programs Administered by Social Work Services
Protective Services for the Elderly

Overview:  A Mission of Caring and Safeguarding
Connecticut has a coordinated system to support the safety and well-being of elders who may be subject to various forms of maltreatment.  This system includes the Protective Services for the Elderly (PSE) program, law enforcement, health and human services, and the court system.  The PSE program is designed to safeguard people 60 years and older from physical, mental and emotional abuse, neglect (including self-neglect), abandonment and/or financial abuse and exploitation.  Department of Social Services social workers respond to reports of elder maltreatment and devise a plan of care aimed at fostering safety while preserving the person’s right of self-determination.  Staff may help the person remain in the living situation he or she prefers, safeguard legal rights, prevent bodily injury or harm, determine service needs and then mobilize resources to provide necessary services.

  • The service plan may include crisis intervention and arranging for and coordinating any of the following services: adult day care, companionship, counseling, homemaker, home health care, home-delivered meals, long-term services and supports or, if necessary, emergency convalescent placement.
  • In extreme cases, DSS can seek court authorization to provide services to a person who, upon professional assessment, presents as lacking the capacity to give consent to reasonable and necessary services to assure personal safety. Under certain circumstances, the Department may apply to the Probate Court for the appointment of a Conservator whose role is to make decisions on behalf of a person in need.
Follow this link to the Protective Services for the Elderly pamphlet.  
(English version)  - (Spanish version)

Protective Services for Elderly (PSE) PSA Video 

Reporting Cases of Suspected Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation:
In order for this system to function, someone must first identify and refer elders who might be in need of protection. Anyone can (and should) report elder maltreatment. Many categories of human service, medical, law enforcement and other professions are required by state law to cause a report to be made.
NEW!  July 1, 2022—Changes in Connecticut Elder Abuse Reporting Laws:  link to full information on responsibilities for mandated professionals

To support this effort, the Department of Social Services has made online training available to educate people on how to recognize and report elder maltreatment.

To make a report, call Protective Services for the Elderly at the Department of Social Services during business hours at the toll-free line:
1-888-385-4225.  After business hours or on weekends or state holidays, please call Infoline at 2-1-1.  If you are calling from outside Connecticut, call Infoline 24/7 at 1-800-203-1234.

An optional Report Form (W-675) is also available.  Please FAX the W-675 form to 860-424-5091. However, telephone reports are preferred.
Conservator of Estate
In certain circumstances, the DSS Commissioner may be appointed by the Probate Court as the Conservator of Estate for elderly persons sixty years of age or older, if the person is incapable of managing his or her own financial affairs. DSS staff represents the Commissioner to assist in this manner.
Conservator of Person
The DSS Conservator of Person Program is administered by staff who represent the DSS Commissioner and are appointed by the Probate Court to supervise the personal affairs of an individual who has a critical need for someone to act on his or her behalf due to mental or physical disability.

Long-Term Care Investigations and Interventions

Public Act 99-176 redirected the reporting to and investigation of abuse, neglect and exploitation of nursing home residents from the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman to the Office of the Commissioner of Social Services.  This responsibility is assigned to the DSS Social Work Services Division, which screens all calls and written reports relating to this area.  Reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation should be made to Social Work Services utilizing the form W-410 Opens in a new window and should be faxed to 860-424-5091.  Please contact the Social Work unit at 860-424-5964 for any questions regarding this procedure.  Please note that this process refers only to reports made by mandatory reporters working in long-term facilities.
Social Work In-Home Support Program (formerly Community Based Services “CBS”)
A program that provides non-medical homecare services as part of an overall case plan to maintain adults with physical and/or mental disabilities, age 18-64 inclusive, in the community. Without the provision of these significant supportive services, the adult with a disability would require institutional placement. Program services include:  adult daycare; adult companion; home delivered meals; case management; chore; case work; homemaker; and personal emergency response system. Eligibility depends on income related to Medicaid, asset levels related to SSI, certification of need by a physician or other appropriate healthcare professional, and a Department social work assessment. Application is made by contacting the Department's regional offices. 
Individual and Family Services
Social Work Services are offered to families and individuals to support their efforts in improving life circumstances and achieving self-sufficiency. The services available include crisis intervention and management, case management, educative and supportive counseling with solution focused orientation, information and referral.
Domestic Violence Shelters and Services
This program provides shelter services, including support staff, emergency food and living expenses and social services for victims of household abuse. It is also intended to reduce the incidence of household abuse through preventive education programs. The Department contracts with non-profit organizations to provide these services in their localities.
Shelter services are provided to victims of abuse and their children. Sixteen programs operate shelters around the state, offering stays up to 60 days. Two programs arrange emergency shelter in a private host home for up to 72 hours. Support services are provided to victims and their families that do not require emergency shelter. These services include telephone hotline crisis counseling, information and referral, and in-person counseling.
CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence Toll-Free 24-Hour Crisis Line: 1-888-774-2900
CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) Opens in a new window
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI)
The program provides young people who are at risk of becoming teen parents with a structured, supportive, safe, after-school environment in which they can acquire the knowledge, skills and opportunities to succeed in life and avoid early parenting.  The goal of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program is to reduce teen pregnancies in Connecticut communities with the highest incidence of births to teens.