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San Francisco Consortium for Elder Abuse Prevention
Institute on Aging
The San Francisco Consortium for Elder Abuse Prevention is a network of over 40 public and private agencies which was formed in 1981 to address the needs of abused and vulnerable seniors.
What We Do
- Training. Each year the Consortium provides training to over a thousand professionals, advocates, volunteers, and students in how to identify, prevent, and treat the effects of abuse.
- Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) Review. Our team of professionals from the fields of aging, adult protective services, mental health, law enforcement, geriatric health care, and others meets monthly to review complex abuse cases and learn about new service resources and innovative intervention techniques. To present a case or observe meetings, contact the Consortium.
- Case Consultation. Consortium staff advise professionals from other agencies in how to assess and intervene in abuse cases and how to access community resources.
- Service Development. The Consortium has developed a variety of new services including an emergency shelter, an information telephone line, an emergency fund, and a support group for victims.
- Advocacy. The Consortium advocates for new and improved services and public policy that offer greater protection to vulnerable seniors.
- Technical Assistance to Other Communities. Consortium staff provide training, materials, and consultation to communities across the United States and Canada. They have produced a variety of "how to" manuals and training curricula and publish a newsletter, nexus, for the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA).
- National Center on Elder Abuse. The Consortium is a consultant to the National Center on Elder Abuse.
How the Program Began
In 1981, San Francisco's Coalition of Agencies Serving the Elderly (CASE) assigned a task force to explore whether seniors in San Francisco were victims of, or vulnerable to, elder abuse. The group conducted a survey which revealed a disturbing number of cases of physical mistreatment, theft, fraud, and neglect by family members, care providers, and professional con artists. Abuse resulted in injury, death, the loss of homes or life savings, physical decline, and unnecessary institutionalization. The group observed that victims needed legal services to help them recoup their losses and restrain abusers, counseling to help them assess their options and recover from emotional trauma, health care, and support services to reduce dependency. The group recognized that no single agency could provide all of these services to San Francisco's diverse community of seniors. They called for a coordinated and comprehensive network of agencies which was achieved through the creation of the Consortium.
How the Program Works
The Consortium is made up of the following components:
- Member Agencies. The Consortium's 90 member agencies, which range from large public departments to small, private, not for profit agencies, provide legal assistance, information and referral, crisis intervention, case management, mental health, counseling, and support services to victims and vulnerable seniors. Members join by signing "linkage agreements" through which they agree to share information, provide training to their staff in elder abuse detection and response, and participate in collaborative advocacy and outreach.
- The Institute on Aging (IOA) serves as "Coordinating Agency." IOA staff keep member agencies apprised of developments and resources in the field of elder abuse, organize training and outreach events, produce materials, consult in cases, convene the multidisciplinary team, and spearhead collective advocacy and outreach efforts.
- A Steering Committee, which includes representatives from Consortium member agencies, provides leadership, develops goals and objectives, and oversees program activities.
- A Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) of professionals from the fields of law enforcement, civil law, mental health, family counseling, geriatric medicine, financial management, and others meets on a monthly basis to review complex cases of abuse and keep members advised of new resources and intervention approaches.
- WE ARE FAMILY (WAF) is a special project that was formed to improve access to information and services by African American seniors. WAF's Leadership Group designs culturally specific outreach materials and conducts outreach events for professionals and the public.
For more information, contact:
The San Francisco Consortium for Elder Abuse Prevention
Institute on Aging
3330 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, California
Telephone: (415) 447-1989, x513
Fax: (415) 447-1250
Last Updated: January 2, 2006
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