U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Elder Abuse Forensic Center

2011 Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

Elder Abuse Forensic Center | Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services
Team Members: Laura Mosqueda, MD; Kerry Burnight, PhD; Lisa Gibbs, MD; Cherie Hill; Art McDevitt; Barrie Pink, JD; Carol Tryon, LCSW; Rochelle Woolery; Amber Cauble, LCSW; Stacey Lindberg, MSW; Desiree Davis; Gerlyn Bowman, LCSW; Joe Mauga; Bonnie Olsen, PhD; Ronda Roberts; Lynn Rodriguez, MA; Steven Tam, MD
Orange, California

The Elder Abuse Forensic Center (EAFC) of Orange County is the first forensic center in the nation with a mission to serve victims of elder and dependent adult abuse. EAFC provides direct services for the prevention, assessment, and treatment of elder abuse and neglect, and is able to address cases of elder abuse and neglect on a much more comprehensive level due to the unprecedented multidisciplinary collaboration of area agencies. 

Led by the Program in Geriatrics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, EAFC is staffed by professionals from nine agencies, including law enforcement, the District Attorney, social services, county mental health, and others, all of which are dedicated to the protection of older adults. EAFC’s work is unique in that the victims served often have no idea that their case was shepherded by EAFC. Cases are typically referred to EAFC when there is reason to believe that a better outcome will be achieved through the use of services such as a team case review, in-home medical and mental status evaluation, or in-home evidentiary investigation. 

EAFC has assessed more than 750 cases of elder abuse and neglect since it opened in 2003. EAFC takes all of the resources available from existing elder advocacy agencies and channels them to combat and prosecute elder mistreatment. The work of EAFC of Orange County has served as a model for the development of three additional centers in California, and EAFC is currently assisting with the creation of elder abuse forensic centers in New York, Virginia, and Japan. 

Local, national, and international victims of elder abuse and neglect are now benefiting from EAFC’s efforts. EAFC was nominated by Carolyn E Ziminski, R.N., a doctoral student at the School of Nursing, University of California Los Angeles.