Background Abuse, neglect, financial exploitation and self-neglect of older adults and adults with disabilities is a significant public health and human rights problem (hereinafter this funding opportunity will use the term “adult maltreatment” and should be understood to include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; financial exploitation; neglect; and self-neglect of older adults and adults with disabilities). The most recent data available on the prevalence of adult maltreatment suggests that at least 10 percent of older Americans – approximately 5 million persons—experienced emotional, physical, or sexual abuse and neglect each year, and many of them experience it in multiple forms.  Adults with disabilities are 4 to 10 times more likely to become a victim of maltreatment than persons without disabilities. In 2010, the age-adjusted serious violent crime (e.g. rape, robbery, assault) victimization rate for persons with disabilities was three times the rate of adults without disabilities. In addition, data from state Adult Protective Services (APS) agencies show an increasing trend in reports of adult maltreatment. During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, research suggests rates of maltreatment have nearly doubled, with one study identifying an increase of 83.6 percent . These increases are concerning as other research estimates that as few as 1 in 23 cases of elder abuse, and 1 in 44 cases of financial exploitation, ever come to the attention of authorities. It is widely documented that, despite recent investments, research in the area of maltreatment of older adults and adults with disabilities remains in its early stages, especially related to effective and evidence-based prevention, intervention, and remediation practices. Understanding of the phenomena of adult maltreatment is decades behind our understanding of either child maltreatment or intimate partner violence. Services for victims of adult maltreatment also lag far behind the system of services available to victims of other forms of family violence. Victims of adult maltreatment may require various services and supports, including help applying for victim assistance counseling, transportation to and from court, coordination of care with medical providers and long-term care facility staff, and referral to a whole network of programs available to older adults through the Older Americans Act (OAA), along with other home and community based services, including those covered by Medicaid and Medicaid waiver home and community-based services and services covered by other funding sources. It is also known that provision of these services, such as receiving home-based care, services to keep homes safe, and home-delivered meals can remediate social isolation and other conditions that are risk factors for adult maltreatment. Specific services or supports, such as social support and participation in supportive community social outlets, may be effective for mitigating negative outcomes of elder mistreatment, such as depression, generalized anxiety, and poor health  as well as future risk of mistreatment . Further study is required to establish the research literature in how provision of Older Americans Act funded and other essential community-based service programs can remediate and prevent adult maltreatment. These gaps in knowledge and practice have been noted consistently across multiple efforts, including: The Elder Justice Coordinating Council has issued a set of recommendations for federal action that include enhancing response and outreach to individuals who experience abuse and developing a core set of service provision standards and best practices for APS. In 2014, the Department of Justice, in partnership with HHS, released the results of a stakeholder engagement process whose purpose was to find consensus around the most important issues for the elder justice field. The report, titled the “Elder Justice Roadmap,” identified priority action items on which the federal government - as well as others- should focus. Among the priority actions recommended were the need to evaluate the availability of emergency/transitional housing and other service options for older victims; evaluate the efficacy of programs designed to address adult maltreatment; and develop national APS standards on topics such as feasible caseloads, collaborations, training requirements, and data collection. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) selected Elder Justice as one of its five focus areas. The Final Report of the WHCOA identified public comments collected during the Conference’s stakeholder engagement process. These comments stressed the lack of research focusing on elder abuse as a significant barrier to addressing the problem, and that very little is understood about the extent of the problem. In 2020, the Administration for Community Living published a Research Agenda for Adult Protective Services. Stakeholders identified multiple questions related to service provision, including what best practices exist around service planning, and what types of services are most effective for different maltreatment types . Description In response to these calls for attention in the areas described above, in FY 2022 ACL is awarding new cooperative agreements under the “Elder Justice Innovation Grants” program. The Elder Justice Innovation Grants program is intended to support foundational work to create credible benchmarks for adult maltreatment prevention, and for program development and evaluation. The Elder Justice Innovation Grants program supports the development and advancement of knowledge and approaches about new and emerging issues related to elder justice. Funded projects will contribute to the improvement of the field of adult maltreatment prevention and intervention at large, by undertaking initiatives such as developing programs, interventions, materials, etc., or by establishing and/or contributing to the evidence-base of knowledge. Adult Protective Services (APS) is a social services program provided by state and local governments serving older adults and adults with disabilities who need assistance because of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation (adult maltreatment). In all states, APS is charged with receiving and responding to reports of adult maltreatment and working closely with clients and a wide variety of allied professionals to maximize client safety and independence. Most APS programs serve both older and younger adults subject to state-designated criteria. Congress enacted the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965 in response to concern by policymakers about a lack of community social services for older persons. The original legislation established authority for grants to states for community planning and social services, research and development projects, and personnel training in the field of aging. The law also established the Administration on Aging (AoA) to administer the newly created grant programs and to serve as the federal focal point on matters concerning older persons. In addition to Older Americans Act-funded services, older adults receive services under many other federal programs, including but not limited to Medicare and Medicaid, SNAP, VOCA, housing supports, and the broad array of federally funded home and community-based services. In FY 2022, ACL seeks to understand more about the various community services that produce better outcomes for persons transitioning from APS interventions, which are emergent and short-term, to the OAA and community-based programs that remediate and prevent recurrence of abuse over the longer term. At a minimum, ACL expects that the information gathered through this project will result in suggestions for priority actions in each of three areas (research, practice, and policy) related to this topic. ACL is interested in supporting projects aimed at addressing the following objectives: Identify, assess, and understand the connections/relationships between APS and community-based programs, and Identify, assess, and understand how the transition of APS clients to community-based programs can remediate and prevent future abuse. In pursuit of these objectives, ACL seeks applications that addresses at least one of these questions. Responses to these questions should be addressed in the application narrative, as described in detail in Section IV.2. Which community services (human, social, and civil legal) produce better outcomes for persons transitioning from APS interventions, efficiently and effectively restoring them after experiencing abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation? Which services or combinations or services produce better outcomes for specific forms of maltreatment? Which services or combinations of services best respond longitudinally to the needs of those of have experienced maltreatment? What APS service planning practices have demonstrated success? What practices have demonstrated success developing and promoting durable, sustainable, and effective systemic relationships that better address the needs of people in the short- and long-term who have experienced abuse, that preserve their autonomy, and that mitigate risks of recurrence? Rights in Data ACL understands that the outcomes and results from these demonstration grants may be such that the awardee would like to publish an article or report on the project’s results, or disseminate the outcomes and results in some other public way. Per the HHS Grants Policy Statement (January 1, 2007), page II-69: “In general, [grant] recipients own the rights in data resulting from a grant-supported project or program….[A]ny publications, data, or other copyrightable works developed under an HHS grant may be copyrighted without OPDIV prior approval.” That is, grantees under this funding opportunity do not need to seek approval from ACL to publish reports, articles, or other material about their projects. However, applicants should also note that Under 45 CFR Section 75.322(b), ACL reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use copyrightable works developed (or for which ownership was purchased) under this cooperative agreement for Federal purposes, and to authorize others to do so, including to disseminate the works and findings. The federal government right to such copyrightable works and data are explained further in the HHS Grants Policy Statement. For this funding opportunity, this means that grantees may not withhold from ACL data or information produced from or by this project, except as protected by privacy laws/regulations, including but not limited to outcome and evaluation data. At the conclusion of the grant period, the grantee must provide a final report that includes the data and materials produced by the grant. Please Note: The HHS Grants Policy Statement defines “data” as “recorded information, regardless of the form or media on which it may be recorded, and includes writings, films, sound recordings, pictorial reproductions, drawings, designs or other graphic representations, procedural manuals, forms, diagrams, work flow charts, equipment descriptions, data files, data processing or computer programs (software), statistical records, and other research data.” Additional Information - Grantee Meetings Please note that ACL plans to convene grantee meetings during the first six months of each budget period, in-person or virtual as public-health circumstances permit. Grantees are required to attend these meetings, absent extenuating circumstances, and grant funds may be used to cover this grant-related expense if a meeting is held in-person. If applicants intend to use grant funds to attend this meeting, they should include this expense in the application budget. References Acierno, R., Hernandez-Tejada, M. A., Anetzberger, G. J., Loew, D., & Muzzy, W. (2017). The National Elder Mistreatment Study: An 8-year longitudinal study of outcomes. Journal of elder abuse & neglect, 29(4), 254–269. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/08946566.201 Petersilia, J. (2001). Crime victims with developmental disabilities: A Review Essay. Criminal Justice & Behavior, 28(6), 655–694. Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2017). Crime Against Persons with Disabilities, 2008-2010 Statistical tables. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/capd0915st_sum.pdf Teaster, P. B., Dugar, T., Mendiondo, M., Abner, E. L., Cecil, K. A., & Otto, J. M. (2004). The 2004 Survey of Adult Protective Services: Abuse of Vulnerable Adults 18 Years of Age and Older. Washington, D.C.: National Center on Elder Abuse, U.S. Administration for Community Living. Chang ES, Levy BR. High Prevalence of Elder Abuse During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Risk and Resilience Factors. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2021 Nov;29(11):1152-1159. Retrieved January 19, 2022 from doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2021.01.007. Multiple studies to measure the incidence and prevalence of adult maltreatment have been undertaken in recent years. Including: National Research Council. (2003). Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. New York City Dept for the Aging; Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc., & Weill Cornell Medical Ctr of Cornell University. (2011). Under the Radar: New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study. Rochester: Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc. Acierno, R., Hernandez, M. A., Amstadter, A. B., Resnick, H. S., Steve, K., Muzzy, W., & Kilpatrick, D. G. (2010). Prevalence and Correlates of Emotional, Physical, Sexual, and Financial Abuse and Potential Neglect in the United States: The National Elder Mistreatment Study. Am J Public Health, 100(2), 292–297. New York City Dept for the Aging; Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc., & Weill Cornell Medical Ctr of Cornell University. (2011). Under the Radar: New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study. Rochester: Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc. , D., & Muzzy, W. (2017). The National Elder Mistreatment Study: An 8-year longitudinal study of outcomes. Journal of elder abuse & neglect, 29(4), 254–269. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/08946566.201 Burnes, D. P., Rizzo, V. M., & Courtney, E. (2014). Elder Abuse and Neglect Risk Alleviation in Protective Services. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(11), 2091–2113. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260513516387 Elder Justice Coordinating Council. (2014, May). Eight Recommendations from the Elder Justice Coordinating Council for Increased Federal Involvement in Addressing Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation . Retrieved January 26, 2021, from U.S. Administration for Community Living Website: https://acl.gov/sites/default/files/programs/2016- 09/Eight_Recommendations_for_Increased_Federal_Involvement.pdf Connolly, M., Brandl, B., & Breckman, R. (2014). The Elder Justice Roadmap. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://www.justice.gov/file/852856/download White House Conference on Aging. (2015). The White House Conference on Aging, Final Report. Washington, D.C. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://whitehouseconferenceonaging.gov/2015-WHCOA-Final-Report.pdf New Editions Consulting, Inc. (2020). Building the Evidence Base for Adult Protective Services - APS Research Agenda. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Administration for Community Living. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://acl.gov/sites/default/files/programs/2020-10/APS%20Research%20Agenda.pdf
Elder Justice Innovation Grants - Improving Results for APS Clients FY2022
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Expected Number of Awards Synopsis
Length of Project Periods
24-month project period with two 12-month budget periods
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Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity above), subject to any clarification in text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility"
Additional Information on Eligibility
Foreign entities are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement. Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
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Funding Opportunity Description
Date for Informational Conference Call