Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $375,000)
The New Hampshire Department of Justice is seeking this federal funding through America’s Response to Elder Abuse: Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams (E-MDTs) for Older Victims of Financial Exploitation and Abuse grant program to strengthen and enhance our state’s response to elder financial exploitation. NH Financial Abuse Specialty Team (FAST) is a statewide multi-disciplinary team of organizations and community members working to improve the response to elder financial exploitation through increased collaboration and coordination. Members of FAST include the NH Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services, the Alzheimer’s Association, the U.S. and NH Departments of Justice, NH Legal Assistance, various financial institutions and law enforcement from two large cities.
While we have had some good successes, because NH FAST has no funding or dedicated staff person, it has been a challenge to implement more involved structural enhancements to improve our coordinated response to this problem. For example, NH FAST has identified the need to create a coordinated statewide system to review and triage financial exploitation cases. Our application seeks to fund a dedicated person to serve as a liaison between the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse and Exploitation Unit (EAEU), the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services and the Bureau of Security Regulations. This Project Coordinator position would be housed within the EAEU. They will be responsible for reviewing cases and scheduling regular meetings between the three agencies to determine the most appropriate response. This person would also help organize and conduct outreach, maintain the StayConnectedNH.org website, organize NH FAST meetings, including the coordination of speakers to educate FAST members, and other related activities. The StayConnectedNH.org website provides a forum for team members, allies and residents of NH to obtain reliable information regarding public awareness, useful articles, new programs, and legislation regarding elder abuse and financial exploitation. Adding the Project Coordinator position will enable the NH DOJ EAEU to better identify and respond to older adults who experience financial exploitation and abuse and hold offenders accountable. The grant funding would also enable the NH FAST to expand and include other identified professionals such as a neuropsychologist and forensic accountant.
Project deliverables include hiring a coordinator position, convening of a new NH FAST subcommittee for Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Case Review, a needs assessment, development of referral protocols, creating NH FAST case review policies, procedures and best practices and creating educational opportunities on elder abuse and financial exploitation.