Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $375,000)
The purpose of this award, funded under the OVC FY 2019 Transforming America's Response to Elder Abuse: Coordinated, Enhanced Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs) for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation Program, is to support elder abuse multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) as enhanced MDTs (E-MDTs) at the rural, tribal, local or state levels, including existing and new teams. Through this solicitation, OVC seeks to support organizations which demonstrate innovative strategies to create, expand, or enhance the use of technology initiatives on a national scale or that can be relicated nationally to improve response, services, and access for victims of crime.
The City of Richmond has had a functioning Elder Abuse MDT for over 10 years. Currently, there are representatives from, among others, the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, Adult Protective Services, Law Enforcement, and a Guardian ad Litem who regularly attend and review cases that have been brought to the team by various channels, including reports to APS and law enforcement. Under this project, the team will continue to work together to add participants from the local YWCA, Virginia Commonwealth University's Forensic Nursing Program, EMS, and local banking institutions to the MDT. Additionally, the team will increase the professional resources available to it to support the investigation and prosecution of elder abuse cases. To that end, the City of Richmond MDT will add a geriatrician, a forensic accountant, and a neuropsychologist. Finally, the City of Richmond's E-MDT will recruit a skilled civil-side Elder Law lawyer to offer advice as to the appropriate use of guardianships and powers-of-attorney. The E-MDT will also work to expand law enforcement officer education and skill in conducting effective and victim-centered victim interviews. The EMDT will also train EMTs, 911 dispatchers, and employees of assisted living and skilled nursing facilities so that all of those frontline professionals will be better prepared to help law enforcement identify victims of elder abuse in its earliest phases.