Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $375,000)
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO), in collaboration with Penn Memory Center, Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE), SeniorLAW Center, and Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA), are requesting $375,000 over three years to develop a new Philadelphia Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Team (PEAMDT). The PEAMDT will improve coordination between medical professionals, advocacy organizations, legal services organizations, and prosecutors to better serve older victims of crime and improve the participants’ ability to investigate and prosecute cases of senior financial exploitation. Additionally, the PEAMDT will improve the ability of the participants to contact and serve exploited seniors who cannot easily access the legal system.
The increased coordination and additional resources will strengthen the ability of the stakeholders to successfully litigate cases of elder financial exploitation which often present complex and interrelated criminal, civil, financial, and medical issues. Thus, the MDT will benefit Philadelphia’s senior citizens by improving their access to justice and the remedies necessary to recover from cases of financial exploitation.
Funds will primarily be used by the DAO to hire a full-time Elder Abuse Victim Coordinator to manage the MDT and directly serve elder victims of crime, and a Forensic Accountant to investigate incidents of financial exploitation. Partner agencies participating in the PEAMDT will be funded for their time attending team meetings, trainings, and additional case review work. Members of the PEAMDT will include representation from medical personnel, law enforcement, neuropsychologists, victims’ services, and additional professionals to comprehensively consider and address the priorities and needs of older victims.
Primary activities for this project include:
Onboarding the new Elder Abuse Victim Coordinator and Forensic Accountant in the Philadelphia DAO
Signing of a formal PEAMDT MOU outlining agencies expectations, obligations, policies, and procedures
Monthly in-person or virtual case review meetings between PEAMDT partners
Development of best practices to improve services to older victims
Participation in elder abuse and financial exploitation cross-trainings
Recruitment of additional members from a broad array of professions
Anticipated deliverables for this project include:
Increase in the coordination of services to support elder victims of crime
Implement new protocols for staff working with older victims
Create an elder abuse needs assessment for victims
Successful prosecution of additional and more complex cases of financial exploitation
Improved ability to match elder victims with necessary services