National Adult Protective Services Training Center
ACL is announcing a new National Adult Protective Services Training Center (NATC) to support APS workers and administrators as they serve clients impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. NATC will be established through a nearly $1.5 million two-year cooperative agreement with the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA). The project is funded through the Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.
The NATC will provide up-to-date, relevant, practical, and consistent training to APS workers and supervisors using an e-learning platform. At every stage of the project, NATC will engage with APS workers and supervisors to better understand workforce development needs, inform project activities, review curricula and proposed dissemination strategies. This will include engagement around issues of equity, racial justice, and equal opportunity in order to better equip APS staff to support clients from marginalized and underserved communities.
Elder Justice Innovation Grants on Guardianship/Conservatorship and Transitions from APS to Community Services
ACL is awarding 14 two-year Elder Justice Innovation Grants totaling nearly $5.9 million to support the development and advancement of innovations around new and emerging issues, including:
- Grants to the highest courts of seven states to assess the fairness, effectiveness, timeliness, safety, integrity, and accessibility of adult guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, and develop innovations to improve the experiences of individuals at risk of guardianship/conservatorship.
- Seven grants to assess and understand the various community services that produce better outcomes for individuals transitioning from short-term APS interventions to the broader community-based services and programs (including Older Americans Act programs) that remediate and prevent recurrence of abuse over the longer term.
The Alaska State Courts will work with key stakeholders to increase competence and consistency in all state courts handling guardianship, improve the proficiency of the court and all participants in the guardianship process, improve monitoring of financial issues and identify less restrictive options, and provide equitable customer assistance statewide.
- The Massachusetts Administrative Office of Trial Court will create an Office of Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship Oversight within the Administrative Office of the Probate and Family Court to increase court oversight of guardians/conservators and guardian/conservator arrangements to protect older adults (aged 60+) and adults with disabilities from abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect.
- The Maryland Court of Appeals will conduct a comprehensive statewide assessment of the existing guardianship process and system to identify current strengths, weaknesses, concerns, and needs; develop a response to that assessment with interventions to address identified weaknesses, concerns, and needs; produce an evaluation aimed at measuring the quality of the assessment and the effectiveness and replicability of the interventions; and disseminate findings.
- The Judiciary Courts of the State of Minnesota will design and implement a guardian/conservator grievance/investigation process to alert the court of potential maltreatment and fraud. The process will be designed to detect fraud and abuse of individuals subject to guardianship/conservatorship. It will document and track information received by better utilizing, and enhancing where necessary, electronic record systems. Minnesota will contract with Volunteers of America to provide training in supporting decision making to inform judges, guardians, conservators, interested parties, and court visitors on topics that support and protect the interests of individuals under a guardianship/conservatorship.
- The Judiciary Courts of the State of Nevada will assess the statewide guardianship program, expand access to guardian and judicial education, and measure changes to the system and ways to improve data collection of the district courts.
- The New York Unified Court System will implement a uniform, modern data tracking system. The system would give court officials, particularly judges and court examiners, a continuous and complete overview of the services being provided to the alleged incapacitated person needing court assistance. The system would provide court administrators, legislatures, stakeholders, and the public with access to information about court system processes and efficiencies so that resources can be redistributed and/or enhanced as needed. The system would be designed to track more family and friends to serve as guardians.
- he Oregon Office of the State Court Administrator will establish processes that will enable courts to better detect financial mismanagement of protected person’s assets and conduct a comprehensive study of the Oregon court’s guardianship and conservatorship monitoring practices.
APS-Community Transitions Grants:
- The Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging (BRIA) will collaborate with Utah Adult Protective Service (APS) and the Utah Association of Area Agencies on Aging to develop, implement, and evaluate an innovative practice addressing caretaker neglect and to provide services and resources to alleged victims and perpetrators. The goal of this project is to develop a practice to coordinate care beyond APS case closure as well as to demonstrate improvements in physical health, emotional health, function, and social supports for alleged victims and perpetrators. BRIA will guide practice, policy, and future research on caretaker neglect and polyvictimization (multiple forms of victimization) by providing evidence on maltreatment, needs/challenges, services, and outcomes for victims and perpetrators.
- Purdue University's project will examine “pathways to safety” for at-risk adults served by Adult Protective Services (APS) and community-based service providers. Purdue will understand how community-based service providers work with APS to support at-risk adults living safely and independently in the community, identify community-based services that mitigate abuse, improve at-risk adults’ mental and physical health, and sustain their functional status, and facilitate community-based services that prevent recurrent abuse.
- Lifespan of Greater Rochester Inc. and project partners will pilot a model of co-locating an aging service care manager with APS staff for on-site consultation and joint assessment of clients to facilitate access to the full array of OAA-funded and other community services, and to offer intensive care management by project care managers at Lifespan once the crisis that prompted a referral to APS is stabilized.
- The Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale will enhance services to APS involved older adults experiencing abuse nationwide through proliferation, accessibility, and increased capacity for shelter intervention programs with the goal of demonstrating how elder shelter programs serve as a conduit between APS services and community service programs for people who are experiencing abuse.
- The Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect (EAFC) at the University of California, Irvine will partner with Orange County Adult Protective Services (APS) and the Health Care Agency’s Office of the Public Guardian (PG) to develop a person-centered program to disrupt the cycle of elder and dependent adult abuse (EDDA) for Public Guardian clients. This program, Ending and Disrupting Elder Abuse Recidivism (ENDEAR) for Person-Centered APS - Community Transitions, will focus on APS clients who have been referred to the PG for determinations of guardianship and provide coordinated case management for victims/survivors.
- The Iowa Department on Aging will assess and understand the various community services that produce better outcomes for persons transitioning from APS interventions and programs that remediate and prevent recurrence of abuse over the longer term. Iowa will achieve this by implementing measurable improvements in health, social, and functional status and mitigating the risk of recurrent abuse. The project will include the creation of a coordinated referral process to assist in prevention efforts.
- The Community Service Agency (Stanislaus County, California) will improve systems and responses to older adults and adults with disabilities with substantiated cases of self-neglect, neglect, and financial and physical abuse in Stanislaus County, California. This includes coordinating among community-based partner agencies and Older Americans Act programs. Enhancements will be made to evidence-informed and practice-informed services, strategies, advocacy, and interventions for APS clients to ensure they achieve long-term measurable improvements in health, social, and functional status; preserve their autonomy and independence; and mitigate the risk of recurrent abuse. Data will be used to inform research, practice and policy; and assess efficacy of community-based services for APS clients transitioning from APS interventions.