Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $375,000)
The purpose of this award, funded under the OVC FY 2019 Transforming America's Response to Elder Abuse: Coordinated, Enhanced Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs) for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation Program, is to support elder abuse multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) as enhanced MDTs (E-MDTs) at the rural, tribal, local or state levels, including existing and new teams. Through this solicitation, OVC seeks to support organizations which demonstrate innovative strategies to create, expand, or enhance the use of technology initiatives on a national scale or that can be relicated nationally to improve response, services, and access for victims of crime.
The State of Utah's Department of Human Services will strengthen state adult protective services (APS) response in Utah by hiring a Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator to expand agency capacity to understand victim needs and priorities and support and engage other organizations, including Area Aging Providers. For APS to effectively meet the growing occurrence of vulnerable adult complex elder abuse, including financial exploitation, APS will seek expert consultation to identify the need for enhanced multidisciplinary teams and where they would be the most supported and effective. These teams would result in systematic improvements to provide better outcomes for older adults who have been victim to complex elder abuse, including financial exploitation. This project will address these challenges to improve successful outcomes for vulnerable adults with multidisciplinary teams: 1) lack of paid administrative support for multidisciplinary teams (to be remedied by hiring a full-time coordinator under this project); 2) vast differences in available services and level of need in urban, versus rural communities; 3) commitment and agency buy-in among MDT members, including by strengthening MOUs; 4) consistency of training, case management processes, and policies and procedures; and 5) lack of expert services for complex cases including cognitive, financial and legal providers, especially in rural areas.