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
Domestic Violence Cash Benefit Program

Effective 7/1/21, pursuant to Connecticut Public Act 21-78, the state added an amendment to the State Administered General Assistance program, to allow for a one-time assistance payment to current victims of domestic violence who are facing current and immediate danger. A current victim of domestic violence is an individual who has experienced at least one of the following events within the ninety days (90) immediately preceding the request for assistance and believe that their safety is currently at risk:

  • Physical acts that resulted in or were threatened to result in physical injury;
  • Sexual abuse;
  • Sexual activity involving a child in your home;
  • Being forced to participate in nonconsensual sexual acts or activities;
  • Threats of or attempts at physical or sexual abuse;
  • Mental abuse; or
  • Neglect or deprivation of medical care.

The cash benefit is intended to assist current victims of domestic violence to escape their domestic violence situation. There is no income, asset, immigration/citizenship status restrictions to receive the benefit. However, those who applying must be residents of Connecticut. Individuals with or without dependent children may qualify. This is generally a one-time benefit and is calculated as the three-month Temporary Family Assistance award for the equivalent family size and issued in one lump sum. The alleged abuser is not included as a member of the household. This program is a state-initiated and state-funded program administered by the Social Work Division. Individuals applying will be required to provide any supporting documentation, including but not limited to:

  • Verification of identity;
  • Primary applicant’s social security number;
  • Verification of relationship between the primary applicant, children and other household members listed on the application;
  • Verification of Connecticut residency;
  • Verification that the primary applicant is a current victim of domestic violence with corroborating evidence in the form of:
    • A police report, protective order or restraining order that was signed and executed within the ninety days (90) immediately preceding the request for assistance; or
    • Documentation from a domestic violence agency that confirms the applicant has experienced a domestic violence event as listed above.

Walk-ins are welcomed and referred to the Social Work Division who will assign a Social Work staff member to assist with the application and evaluation of eligibility process.  Applications may be submitted in person or via mail addressed to the Social Work Unit within one of the 12 DSS Resource Centers. Applications may also be submitted by Domestic Violence community partners, on behalf of the victim. Applications will not be accepted over the phone or online.

If you are experiencing domestic violence and are seeking additional assistance, you may contact the CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence Toll-Free 24-Hour Crisis Line at 1-888-774-2900 CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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.

The following link to the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity provides access databases intended to give information to people hiring providers to care for adults aged 60 and older, children, or individuals with disabilities: Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity