Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $370,962)
Community Advocates for Family &Youth (CAFY) requests funding to establish an Enhanced Multi-Disciplinary Team under the Holistic Approach Leading to Transformation- Elder Abuse HALT-EA project that will provide multi-faceted case reviews and coordinate actions to better assist older victims of financial exploitation and abuse within Prince George’s County, MD. Prince George’s is a heavily-populated county that experiences crime rates at far higher levels than surrounding jurisdictions, and also has a significant senior-aged population that have historically been targets of financial exploitation and abuse. In 2015, the county was selected as one of six jurisdictions in the United States to pilot the Dementia-Friendly America Initiative, a program that unites service organizations, churches, businesses and other institutions to improve the quality of life for seniors and their caregivers through service and education programming. Partners from this Initiative will also become part of the Enhanced Multi-Disciplinary Team.
The overarching goal of the grant is to unite multiple service organizations, government agencies, medical personnel, forensic accountants, and law enforcement investigators and prosecutors into an organized and active Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team that can engage and coordinate regularly to evaluate both recently-reported cases under investigation or sustained, as well as other cases considered longstanding and unresolved incidents where older victims are being abused, neglected or financially exploited. The E-MDT will regularly review and discuss each individual, and then coordinate an array of long-term holistic services that are victim-centered and consider specific needs and circumstances of each subject, while also advancing the ability to prosecute perpetrators and reduce further traumatization of older survivors involved in the criminal justice process.
In addition to providing direct services to senior victims of financial fraud, abuse and other crimes, the project will also adapt a collaborative public outreach, education and community referral program created in partnership with Pickett Fences Senior Services and the Dementia Friendly America-Prince George’s initiative, where partners will host eight workshops and four community events/forums helping seniors during the three-year grant period and create a proactive outreach campaign where caregivers, neighbors and seniors themselves can sign up for help to protect vulnerable adults against potential financial fraud, abuse and other harm.
We estimate that our outreach events will reach approximately 500 or more seniors in Prince George’s County every year, and further will create a network of referral pathways that will allow the organizations to offer proactive risk assessments and other services to approximately 200 seniors deemed at high risk of financial exploitation or other kinds of abuse. We believe that that with the implementation of the project, we will have increased safety and awareness of elders who are more vulnerable towards physical, sexual and/or financial abuse