Monday, July 14, 2014

DOJ/HHS Announce Framework for Elder Abuse Prevention

Dianne De La Mare


The US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have just released the Elder Justice Roadmap (Roadmap), which describes the government’s top five priorities (i.e., awareness, brain health, caregiving, economics and resources), for understanding and reducing elder abuse in this country. The Roadmap was developed by obtaining information and expertise from hundreds of public and private stakeholders from across the country during summits. The goal of those summits was to identify the most critical priorities and concrete opportunities for greater public and private investment and engagement in elder abuse issues.

As part of this effort, DOJ has developed an interactive, online curriculum to teach legal aid and other civil attorneys how to identify and respond to elder abuse. The first three modules of the training cover:
  • what lawyers should know about elder abuse;
  • practical and ethical strategies to use when facing challenges in this area;
  • a primer on domestic violence and sexual assault.
The training will eventually expand to include six one-hour modules covering issues relevant to attorneys who may encounter elder abuse victims in the course of their practice.

HHS also is supporting this effort by developing a voluntary national adult protective services (APS) data system, which will better inform the development of improved, more targeted policy and programmatic interventions. To obtain the Roadmap and accompanying materials go to http://ncea.acl.gov/Library/Gov_Report/index.aspx.

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