Adult Protective Services Specialists in Texas: Perceptions of Three Factors Affecting Turnover
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The Adult Protective Services (APS) program in Texas is charged with investigating abuse, neglect and exploitation of persons age 65 and older or adults over the age of 18 with disabilities and providing services to victims. The APS program also investigates abuse, neglect, and exploitation in certain facilities that provide services to individuals with mental illness and/or mental retardation. Turnover of frontline staff (APS specialists) is a concern for the program, particularly specialists in their first year of employment. In 2009, turnover for first year APS specialists was over 33%. In order to better understand turnover at Adult Protective Services, this research describes perceptions of APS Specialists (I, II, III and IV) statewide as related to select internal, external, and organizational factors affecting turnover. These perceptions are important because they provide program management a place to focus efforts to reduce turnover. The internal factors described are Public Service Motivation (PSM), and Mission Attachment (MA). The external factors are Supervisory Support (SS) and Recognition. The organizational factor described is Burnout, consisting of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and feelings of inefficacy.