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Innovative legal aid for elder abuse and exploitation victims in Los Angeles County's high-poverty and rural communities

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Past Project Period End Date
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $500,000)

This program will implement projects that enhance services for older victims of abuse and financial exploitation. This program is intended to improve outcomes, minimize additional trauma, and restore safety and security to older adult victims of abuse and financial exploitation. This award, made to Bet Tzedek (Legal Services), funded under OVC FY 2020 Enhancing Services for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation program, is designed to support communities in providing services to older victims of abuse and exploitation.

Bet Tzedek (Legal Services) proposes an innovative project aimed at preventing and remedying abuse and exploitation of older adults, minimizing their trauma, and providing training and resources for law enforcement and social service agencies to improve outcomes for elder abuse survivors in Los Angeles County, particularly in high-poverty and rural communities. First, Bet Tzedek will continue its Elder Abuse Restraining Order (EARO) Clinic. Now in its fourth year at the Los Angeles Superior Court, the Clinic is established as a vital provider of directtrauma-informed services to protect abuse victims. Bet Tzedek will also expand the program to include a new virtual remote access EARO Clinic, which will fill critical accessibility gaps, since older victim’s unique needs include inaccessible transportation and built environments, declining physical and cognitive health, mobility limitations, and vulnerability to COVID-19. Second, Bet Tzedek will establish a new in-person EARO Clinic in Antelope Valley, a high-poverty, rural area in the northeastern reaches of Los Angeles County where, as in many rural communities, older residents face unique challenges around transportation, mobility, and lack of access to direct legal aid for victims of elder abuse or exploitation. Third, Bet Tzedek will expand its existing elder abuse, fraud, and scams prevention and response program–known as “For the Sake of our Elders”–to serve all senior communities in the county, with a particular focus on rural and high-poverty areas. Fourth, Bet Tzedek will develop a new training and formalized collaboration program for law enforcement and social agency personnel, enabling better identification of elder abuse and referral of victims to the proper resources. This program will be implemented with Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Division, Glendale and Torrance police departments, and a variety of social services agencies, such as the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services. Bet Tzedek will design the programs to be replicable and scalable, and will disseminate its results and lessons learned from the project to ensure the most widespread possible improvement in outcomes for older crime victims.


Date Created: September 20, 2020