The Elder Justice Initiative is a coalition of Sonoma County organizations unified in the common goal of elder justice. The coalition strives to ensure seniors are safe and supported in Sonoma County with dignity, honor and respect. Members work together to ensure vulnerable seniors are safe and supported through active collaboration.
Coalition activities include:
- Elder Abuse awareness presentations on the topics of ‘Frauds, Scams, and Other Types of Abuse’ available at no cost to community groups looking to learn more about how we can protect ourselves.
- Publicity and awareness campaigns to encourage community members to think about the well-being of older adults around us.
- Professional Trainings on elder abuse for law enforcement, first responders and mandated reporters.
- Addressing gaps in services and connecting agencies serving older adults though coalition agreements and protocols and case consultations.
Professionals from the community known as the Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST) present complex cases in confidential meetings to review possible solutions. The FAST team includes financial experts who also volunteer to review complex financial cases providing analysis for criminal prosecution.
Monthly Multidisciplinary teams review 1-3 cases each meeting with over 30 participants regularly attending coalition meetings.
* from both Adult Protective Services and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman
A component of the Elder Justice Initiative is a specific group. The Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST) is a partnership of public and private multidisciplinary professionals who volunteer their time to facilitate comprehensive services specifically focusing on victims of financial elder abuse. Financial abuse can be as serious, and as life-threatening, as actual physical abuse to older adults whose health and emotional welfare is dependent on their financial resources.
FAST consultants include representatives from law enforcement, the probate court, senior services, government, health care, legal services, financial services, and real estate. These individuals meet together monthly to assist those dealing with cases of financial elder abuse in identifying procedures and providing services to assist victims of financial abuse. The FAST team contributes their assistance to workers from Adult Protective Services (APS), the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, the Public Guardian and local law enforcement.
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