By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – A meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 20 of the Tyler County Adult Protective Services Advisory Board.
The meeting, which is to take place at noon in the office of County Treasurer Leann Monk at the Tyler County Courthouse, will be the first time the board has met since the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation in 2020.
Monk, who serves as the board’s president, is looking to get some new volunteers interested in serving and is encouraging anyone who might have an interest to attend the meeting.
“Our Adult Protective Services Advisory Board supports our APS field workers,” Monk said. The volunteers on the board help bring awareness to the problem of elder abuse and neglect, as well as those same problems that face disabled individuals.
As a state agency operating under the Department of Family and Protective Services, APS investigates abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults who are elderly or have disabilities. Any adult who has a disability or who is age 65 or older over who is in a state of abuse, neglect or exploitation is eligible to receive adult protective services, according to its website.
The APS Advisory Board has, in the past, organized fundraisers, as well as fan drives.
“You normally see [abuse and neglect] in Tyler County a lot with the senior population,” Monk said. “[Seniors] come here to retire and individuals know that and take advantage of them financially as well as physically,” she said.
At present, APS has two caseworkers who service Tyler County, including one who lives in Wildwood and one from Polk County.
Monk noted that the board was very active until the pandemic put a stop to many activities. The inability to meet was also affected by the state-level umbrella agency, DFPS, as it was unable to meet.
The goal is to get a state-sanctioned advisory board similar to the one here in every Texas county, Monk said, however, there is no state funding. It is entirely locally funded, and aside from fundraisers, individuals, churches and civic groups contribute.
“The idea right now is to recreate interest in the board,” Monk said. “I need vested Tyler County people to be involved,” she added.
The process to become a part of the organization involves filling out an application and submitting to a background check.
APS also has a statewide hotline to report suspected and/ or incidents of abuse or neglect. That toll-free number is 1-800-252-5400.