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Court Guide to Effective Collaboration on Elder Abuse

NCJ Number
Susan Keilitz, J.D.; Brenda K. Uekert, Ph.D.; Theresa Jones, M.A.
Date Published
May 2012
26 pages
This document, created by the National Center for State Courts, is a guide for court participation in multidisciplinary efforts to address elder abuse.
The guide suggests ways for courts to improve community responses to elder abuse, and to implement and improve multidisciplinary partnerships to address the needs of individual cases of elder abuse. The guide highlights the problem of elder abuse and the challenges that courts face in responding to the problem. The guide also discusses the role of courts in addressing the problem of elder abuse and the need for judicial leadership to ensure the success of courts' efforts. In order to more successfully identify and address the problem of elder abuse, courts should implement the use of multidisciplinary partnerships. The guide discusses two common types of partnerships: case-based and systemic review. Case-based multidisciplinary partnerships are aimed at improving the handling of specific elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation cases. Systemic review multidisciplinary partnerships are aimed at bringing resources to and improving the response of criminal justice systems and community agencies to the entire problem of elder abuse, and not just individual cases. Three types of systemic review groups are discussed in the guide: multidisciplinary teams, elder fatality review teams, and financial abuse specialist teams. The guide also examines how courts can become involved in broader community-based efforts to address the problem of elder abuse.