Report adult abuse and neglect
If you suspect that a vulnerable adult has been physically, sexually, psychologically or financially abused, or is the victim of neglect or self-neglect, you need to act. Report concerns to a Designated Agency listed below.
If you are a Manager of a care facility licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, a private hospital under Part 2 of the Hospital Act, or any other facility designated by regulation as a care facility, and you have reason to believe that a person authorized as a substitute decision maker is acting in a manner that may be abusive or harmful to the adult, the manager must immediately notify a person designated by the Regional Health Authority.
In emergencies, call 9-1-1.
The designated agency that is most appropriate to respond to a report will depend on where the adult is located and receiving services. If the adult is not within the Vancouver Coastal Health or Providence Health Care service areas please visit the other designated agency websites to make reports.
- Fraser Health Authority: 1 (877) REACT-08 (1-877-732-2808)
- Interior Health Authority: 1 (844) 870-4754
- Northern Health Authority: 1 (844) 465-7414
- Island Health Authority: South Island: 1 (888) 533-2273, Central Island: 1 (877) 734-4101, North Island: 1 (866) 928-4988
- Community Living B.C. (for adults with developmental disabilities)
- Vancouver Coastal Health* and Providence Health Care: Call 1 (877) REACT-99 (1-877-732-2899) or (604) 904-6173 or email email@example.com.
*Vancouver Coastal Health has designated responders throughout service delivery areas including: Richmond, Vancouver, North Shore, Sea to Sky, Sunshine Coast, Powell River and Central Coast.
If you know the program that is involved with the adult you may connect directly with a Designated Responder Coordinator.
Keep a record of the date and who you called to report your concerns.
Referrals to designated agencies will be responded to in accordance with the Adult Guardianship Act and the Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act. There are other services and agencies that provide supports to adults experiencing abuse or neglect.
Other agencies and organizations supporting vulnerable adults
Public Guardian and Trustee of BC protects the interests of people in BC who lack legal capacity to protect their own interests.
Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry is a community-based resource devoted to personal planning and related matters and provides public legal information and resources.
BC Association of Community Response Networks provide a foundation for the community, as a whole, to work together to create a coordinated community response to adult abuse, neglect and self-neglect and to:
- develop ways to coordinate and support their activities;
- facilitate and promote an interdisciplinary approach to services and support;
- keep track of how the response is working;
- work on related activities such as community development, education, prevention and advocacy;
- develop community protocols; and
- support designated agencies in carrying out their responsibilities.
Seniors First BC works to prevent elder abuse and to provide assistance and support to older adults experiencing abuse or neglect. Programs include:
- Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL),
- victim services program,
- legal programs, and
- education and outreach programs.
Essential tips when reporting suspected case
A person must not disclose or be compelled to disclose the identity of a person who makes a report. There may be some limits to keeping the reporter's identity confidential, but designated agencies will make every effort within the limits of the law to not disclose this information. Reports may be made anonymously.
Designated agencies are required to report suspected crimes committed against adults who are unable to seek support and assistance on their own to the police.
In emergencies, call 9-1-1. Designated agencies may act if it is necessary to do so without delay to preserve the adult's life, prevent serious physical or mental harm, or protect assets from significant damage or loss.
Write down all relevant information. Include names, dates, times, observations, details of the incident(s), location, and other pertinent information.