Best Practice Models
The following profiles are just a sampling of the diverse and innovative programs across the United States. Many have been replicated or adapted for use in other communities. Financial Abuse
- The Massachusetts Bank Reporting Project: An Edge Against Elder Financial Exploitation. Replicated across the country, this program enlists the help of banks in preventing financial abuse.
- Fiduciary Abuse Specialist Team (FAST). FAST is a multidisciplinary team with a special focus on handling complex financial abuse cases, and educating team improve their skills
- Elderly Financial Management Project at the Jacob Reingold Institute. Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College. After surveying case management programs across the country about their experiences with elder financial abuse, project staff concluded that abuse could be prevented through financial management programs. The Institute now provides materials and technical assistance to promote the development of these programs.
- Retiree Response Technical Team (R2T2). A volunteer program that enlists the help of retired persons with financial expertise to assist with financial abuse cases
- Probate Court Mediation Project. Specially selected probate attorneys are trained to mediate in guardianship and conservatorship cases.
- "Not Forgotten" Outreach Campaign. Although designed by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Service's for use within the state, the materials and information produced under this project provide an excellent model for other communities. Resources include a website with sample outreach materials.
- Senior Crime Prevention Program. Developed by the Ventura County (California) District Attorney's Office Senior Crime Prevention Program, this campaign was designed to reach "hard to reach" groups including homebound and Spanish speaking seniors.
- The Dance. This 25 minute video, produced by the Maricopa Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance (MEAPA), is of theatrical piece developed to sensitize audience members about older battered woman.
- Elderly Pennsylvanians Deserve Honor and Respect, Not Abuse, an Outreach Campaign. After conducting focus groups with African American, rural, and Hispanic seniors, the Beech Advertising Firm developed a culturally specific outreach campaign. Resources include a replication manual for other communities.
The Massachusetts' Executive Office of Elder Affairs, in collaboration with the Executive Office of Consumer Affairs, the Attorney GeneralÕs Elderly Protection Project, and the Massachusetts Bank Association, developed the bank reporting project to provide training to bank personnel in how to identify and report financial exploitation. The project has been successfully replicated in numerous communities. Sample materials, including model protocols, procedures for investigating and responding to abuse, and training manuals are available.
Contact: Gillian Price
One Ashburton Place, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-7750 ext. 222
(617) 727-9368 (fax)
The Los Angeles FAST team was developed to provide expert consultation to local APS, Ombudsman, Public Guardian and other case workers in financial abuse cases. The team includes representatives from the police department, the district attorney's office, the city attorney's office private conservatorship agencies, health and mental health providers, a retired probate judge, a trust attorney, an insurance agent, a realtor, an escrow officer, a stock broker and estate planners. The FAST coordinator and consultants have also provided training to bankers and police officers across the state of California. They have developed a manual and have helped other communities start up FAST teams.
Contact: Rena R. Fountain-MSG
Director of Elder Abuse Prevention Program
WISE Senior Services
1527 Fourth Street, Ste 250
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Elderly Financial Management Project at the Jacob Reingold Institute Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College
The Reingold Institute conducted a survey of two hundred case management and health care providers in New York City, which revealed that nearly 83.9% of the participating agencies had encountered cases of financial abuse including self neglect; financial abuse by a substance abuser who had moved in with the senior; someone living off the income of the senior; abuse by a home care worker; misappropriation of cash; and abuse of powers of attorney. Based on their findings, the project staff concluded that the problem of elder financial abuse could be significantly reduced by promoting the development and expansion of daily money management services and developed training programs in how to develop daily money management programs. The Institute now provides technical assistance in setting up money management programs, and a manual, Daily Money Management: a "How To" Manual for Care Management Agencies.
Contact: Jacob Reingold Institute
Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College
425 East 25th Street
New York, N.Y. 10010-2590
Or click here to go directly to information on this project (you will leave this site).
Initiated with a mini-grant from the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, the Retiree Response Technical Team (R2T2) recruits and trains retired persons with expertise in financial affairs to assist APS workers investigate financial abuse cases and participate on multidisciplinary teams. The aim is to increase prosecutions of complex cases, particularly those in which victims are unable or unwilling to testify. The project is a collaboration of the Senior and Disabled Services Division of the Oregon Department of Human Services, the Oregon Attorney General's Task Force on Elder Abuse, the Oregon Bankers Association, and Oregon AARP for their assistance. We project is currently is currently being piloted in eight communities. If successful, it will expand throughout the state.
Contact: Stephen J. Schneider,
Attorney at Law
Abuse Prevention Unit
Department of Human Services, Senior and Disabled Services Division
P.O. Box 14750
Salem, OR 97309-0466
In July 1998, San FranciscoÕs Superior Court initiated a mediation program to resolve conflicts related to trusts and estates of decedents. The mediators are experienced probate attorneys who agree to do the mediations. In selected cases, the judge formally orders the 2 parties into mediation. Building upon the success of the program (80% of the cases were mediated successfully), the court started a second mediation panel for guardianships of children and conservatorships of adults. The court selected and met with 20 local probate attorneys who agreed to serve without pay. The attorneys were provided with 4 days of training. Over twenty cases have been mediated with a success rate of 95%. Litigation has been avoided in a number of cases. In one case, conservatorship was avoided completely. The guardianship and conservatorship cases are closely monitored by the Court and an attorney is appointed for every child or elder. Only certain issues are considered appropriate for mediation, including certain cases involving elder abuse and neglect. If abuse and neglect is discovered while mediation is in progress, court appointed attorneys are charged with immediately informing the Court.
Contact: Mary Quinn,
Director of Probate Services
San Francisco Superior Court
The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Service's
The state of Texas has launched a statewide outreach campaign to raise awareness about abuse. Sample materials, press releases, proclamations, and fact sheets from the campaign can be accessed at the Department's website. To visit the website, click here (you will leave this site).
Ventura County (California) District Attorney's Office
As part of its Senior Crime Prevention program, the AGÕs office designed placemats with elder abuse prevention messages, which are distributed to homebound seniors by home delivered meals providers. They also produce "Rx cards," colorful paper strips with anti-fraud warnings that local pharmacists attach to prescriptions or place at checkout stands. The cards describe types of abuse, offers tips for prevention, and provide information about resources.
Contact: Jose Velasco
Anti-telemarketing Fraud Team
Office of the District Attorney,
Victim Services Division
County of Ventura
Hall of Justice
800 South Victoria Avenue
Ventura, CA 93009.
The Maricopa Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance (MEAPA)
This 25 minute video is of a theatrical piece in which an older battered woman reminisces about love, laughter, and dancing. It is available for $100 from the Phoenix Area Agency on Aging (602) 264-2255.
Pennsylvania Department of Aging
When Pennsylvania's Department of Aging decided to target African American, Hispanic, and rural elderly for outreach, they hired an advertising firm, Beach Advertising, to plan and carry out a campaign. Focus groups with members of the targeted groups revealed that seniors responded most favorably to messages that promoted respect and dignity rather than evoking sympathy or fear. "Elderly Pennsylvanians Deserve Honor and Respect, Not Abuse," became the keystone of the campaign. Drawing from its findings and experiences, the department produced a Manual for Implementing Elder Abuse Prevention Media Campaigns for Special Audiences, which is available free of charge, from the Department of Aging at (717) 772-2934.