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Do we really need another meeting? lessons from the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center

Navarro, A. E., Wilber, K. H., Yonashiro, J., & Homeier, D. C. (2010). Do we really need another meeting? lessons from the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center. The Gerontologist50(5), 702-711.

Abstract:

PURPOSE:

Elder abuse cases are often time consuming and complex, requiring interagency cooperation from a diverse array of professionals. Although multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) offer a potentially powerful approach to synergizing the efforts of different providers, there has been little research on elder abuse MDTs in general or elder abuse forensic centers in particular. This article draws on our experience with the development of an innovative elder abuse MDT model by describing the structure, process, and outcomes of the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center (the Center).

DESIGN AND METHODS:

We use a logic model to provide the framework for discussing the Center’s components and de-identified client records to report key characteristics of the cases reviewed (n = 313). We summarize surveys of core team members’ evaluations of team effectiveness (n = 37) and case presenters’ assessments of the Center effectiveness (n = 108).

RESULTS:

During its first 3 years, the Center reviewed 2-4 cases per week and gained active and regular participation among core team members. Both team members’ and presenters’ evaluations were highly favorable.

IMPLICATIONS:

Process outcomes indicate that busy professionals found the model extremely valuable, with added consultation and services aiding elder abuse prevention, protection, and prosecution. The logic model offers structure, process, and outcomes with which to replicate and individualize the elder abuse forensic center model according to the needs and resources in each community.

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Special Thanks to Judith D. Tamkin

We are sincerely appreciative to Judith D. Tamkin for her gift to help establish the USC Center on Elder Mistreatment’s website. Her deep and personal commitment to eradicating elder abuse is helping to reshape our understanding of elder abuse and ultimately save innumerable older adults from abuse and neglect.