Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $375,000)
The Legal Aid Society (LAS) of Metropolitan Family Services is seeking $375,000 over 36 months to support the enhancement of its multi-disciplinary Financial Exploitation Intervention Team (FEIT) to better identify and respond to cases of elder abuse and more comprehensively service and support victims of financial exploitation in Cook County, Illinois. The FEIT will identify gaps in services for elders experiencing financial exploitation, seek and screen cases with the multidisciplinary group, review and resolve issues, coordinate direct service efforts and comprehensive response to victims’ needs. The FEIT will develop best practices, policies, procedures and training tools, and provide a forum for learning about the strategies, resources and approaches used by other successful E-MDTs. This project will build the interdisciplinary team to increase referrals for legal interventions and improve the effectiveness of those interventions. Victim advocacy must be about victim empowerment through choice and active participation in outcomes. Expected deliverables include training, technical assistance and referral procedures. The proposed project will benefit services providers participating in the FEIT and the elder populations served by these agencies. LAS will fund two staff attorneys to complete the activities in this project proposal.
Founded in 1886, LAS is the oldest provider of legal services to low-income people in Chicago and the second oldest in the nation. Over its 135-year history, LAS has provided holistic representation in family, housing, consumer and elder law to low-income residents of Metropolitan Chicago. Its mission is to protect and strengthen families by providing equal access to justice for all by focusing on the most vulnerable communities, including those who are impoverished, the elderly, and victims of violence & crimes.