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 Sac and Fox Nation will create an MDT/Adult Protective Services Office to begin establishing Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams to form systems of communication, referrals, intervention, and advocacy on behalf of Sac and Fox Tribal elders. The challenge is that there is little knowledge within the tribal community about what elder abuse is. Because of the lack of knowledge of elder abuse, it is often overlooked or tolerated, and when it is identified, there is very little communication between agencies to see that the abuse is reported, stopped, and prosecuted. Although there are laws to govern the treatment of elders, there is little enforcement of those laws and no prosecution unless the abuse results in death. The MDT/Adult Protective Services Office will coordinate communication with all tribal departments, specifically law enforcement, tribal court, human services, and health care to assure the abuse is identified, stopped, and abusers are held accountable. Additionally, tribal employees and tribal citizens will be trained to identify elder abuse in an effort to build an intolerance for maltreatment to tribal elders.