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Inside the Black Box: The Case Review Process of an Elder Abuse Forensic Center

NCJ Number
The Gerontologist Volume: 56 Issue: 4 Dated: 2016 Pages: 772-781
Adria E. Navarro; Julia Wysong; Marguerite DeLiema; Elizabeth L. Schwartz; Michael B. Nichol; Kathleen H. Wilber
Date Published
10 pages
This article provides a case review of elder abuse forensic centers to provide a process designed to efficiently address client safety, client welfare, and protection of assets.
Preliminary evidence suggests that elder abuse forensic centers improve victim welfare by increasing necessary prosecutions and conservatorships, and reducing the recurrence of protective service referrals. Center team members gather information and make decisions designed to protect clients and their assets, yet the collective process of how these case reviews are conducted remains unexamined. The purpose of this study is to present a model describing the interprofessional approach of investigation and response to financial exploitation (FE), a frequent and complex type of abuse of vulnerable adults. To develop an understanding of the case review process at the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center (Center), a quasi-Delphi field study approach was used involving direct observations of meetings, surveying team members, and review from the Center's Advisory Council. The goal of this iterative analysis was to understand the case review process for suspected FE in Los Angeles County. A process map of key forensic center elements was developed that may be useful for replication in other settings. The process map includes: (a) multidisciplinary data collection, (b) key decisions for consideration, and (c) strategic actions utilized by an interprofessional team focused on elder justice. Study findings provide a process map that may help other communities replicate an established multidisciplinary team, one experienced with justice system outcomes designed to protect FE victims.