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Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently asked questions about the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System. 

  • As NAMRS is still a young data collection system, data are currently being provided exclusively in summary format, via reports and white papers posted to the ACL website. It is the eventual goal to provide the research and practice community with access to microdata that will enable customized analyses and for research and quality improvement purposes. The timeframe and logistics of this data access are still being developed.

  • NAMRS is an annual, voluntary system to collect both summary and de-identified case-level data on APS investigations. NAMRS consists of three components: Agency Component, submitted by all agencies, on their policies and practices; Case Component, data on client characteristics, services, and perpetrator characteristics, provided by agencies that have report-level tracking systems; and Key Indicators Component, aggregated data on key statistics of investigations and victims, provided by agencies that do not have report-level tracking systems or are unable to provide case-level data. States submit Agency Component data on their policies and practices, along with either the Case Component data or Key Indicators data, depending on their ability to provide case-level data. The NAMRS team provides training and assistance and a mechanism for easily uploading data. Minimal effort is needed to provide the Agency Component, while the Key Indicators and Case Components require more effort. The degree of effort depends on the nature of each program’s case management and data reporting system. Agency IT departments have been a critical partner for most APS programs, and many of them have been able to put in place systems that will make future data extraction efforts much easier.

  • In September 2013, ACL and ASPE contracted with Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc. (WRMA) to develop and pilot NAMRS. In developing NAMRS, WRMA worked with ACL, ASPE, and the National Adult Protective Services Association to convene key stakeholders to identify data elements that are the most critical for a national system. More than 40 state administrators, researchers, service providers, and other stakeholders provided input in focus group conference calls. Additionally, more than 30 state representatives from 25 different states met in three in-person working sessions to discuss the uses and key functionalities of collected data. NAMRS was developed as a system that is responsive to the diversity of APS programs around the country. With technical assistance from WRMA, the system was tested in nine diverse states. Based on the pilot results, which included feedback from the pilot states, WRMA delivered a final report and system to ACL in September 2015. Based on the final report, a review of system requirements, and additional stakeholder input, WRMA finalized the requirements, with ACL approval, in 2016.

  • States report data based on a federal fiscal year (October 1st of one year through September 30th of the following year). Annual national reports are created by WRMA and are made public on this site. WRMA continues to provide technical assistance to states, the District, and territories to enable them to provide submissions to NAMRS. Technical assistance is also provided to expand the number of data elements that states collect and are able to report in-line with NAMRS data specifications.

  • Some of the NAMRS data elements are aspirational. It was designed with the recognition that states will not be able to participate optimally in the short-run. Not every state is able to provide Case Component or Key Indicators data; and even states with sophisticated electronic case management systems are not yet able to provide all the requested data. NAMRS provides a model of critical data elements that states should consider collecting in the future. In fact, some states have already adapted their information systems to improve their reporting in future years. As NAMRS and the APS TARC continue to provide new insights into APS systems and practices across the U.S., data elements will be revisited to ensure that the most appropriate data is being collected in a manner that will enhance knowledge and system improvement over time.

  • The Administration for Community Living (ACL) in partnership with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), both housed within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), developed the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS). It is the first comprehensive, national reporting system for APS programs. NAMRS will collect quantitative and qualitative data on the practices and policies of adult protective services (APS) agencies and the outcomes of investigations into the maltreatment of older adults and adults with disabilities.

  • NAMRS is a reporting system for state-level data. States with county-based APS programs will need to report through the state. The ultimate goal is for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories to providing Agency Component and Case Component data on an annual basis.

  • The goal of NAMRS is to provide consistent, accurate national data on the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older adults and adults with disabilities, as reported to APS agencies. The absence of data for research and best practice development has been cited by numerous entities, including the Government Accountability Office, as a significant barrier to improving APS programs and services to victims. Policy makers, APS programs, and researchers will use the data to evaluate and improve programs and services.

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