How VOCA Funds Have Been Used Across the Country To Create or Enhance Elder Justice Programs

LORI: Hello, everyone Welcome to the Elder Justice Initiative webinar, How VOCA Funds Have Been Used for Elder Justice Programs My name is Lori McGee with the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center I do want to take a moment here to see if everyone is connected As with all technology, we may at some time experience a momentary lapse in the webinar session In the event of that problem, please be patient Remain with us. The webinar should resume shortly If you do have a technical problem, please feel free to type a private chat message to the Technical Specialist Danielle in the chat box If you cannot access the chat, you can also send Danielle an email at dmclean@ovcttac.org That’s dmclean@ovcttac.org If you do have questions throughout the webinar, please type them in the chat box We’ll be taking time to address as many questions as we can throughout the webinar EJI has put together a series of these webinars for various audiences working in the field of elder justice and elder abuse So please take note that our special today is being recorded It will be available to all the audience on the OVC TTAC training website and also the Elder Justice website Our host Susan Lynch was unable to join us although we hope she will be popping in later I’m going to be introducing the Elder Justice Initiative mission and our speakers today The Elder Justice Initiative was designed to support and coordinate the Department of Justice efforts to enforce and help programmatic efforts to combat elder abuse and neglect and financial fraud and scams that target older adults So as you can see, it’s a tall mission It covers a wide variety of issues In order to tackle such a large mission, the initiative employs comprehensive efforts like promoting justice for older adults, helping older victims and their families, enhancing state and local efforts through training and resources, and supporting research to improve elder abuse policy and practice A lot of this information and resources can be found on our Elder Justice website That’s ElderJustice.gov The screen here is showing an image of the home screen So again for webinars such as this and other training materials and resources, documents, and other resources, you can find those on the website here So at this time I’m going to turn things over to Kate Peterson, the attorney-advisor for the Office for Victims of Crime with the U.S Department of Justice to introduce herself and a colleague They also have a few questions for you so that we can get to know you better. Kate KATE: Great. Thanks very much. Hi, everybody Thanks for joining us And I just got a communication from Susan, so I think she will be joining us in just a minute so we can get her in on the conversation right away, which is fantastic All right, so with that, let me just introduce myself first, and then I’m here with my colleague Adrian, and he can introduce himself as well My name is Kate Peterson I am an attorney-advisor with the Office for Victims of Crime I’ve been here for about four years now and have really enjoyed being able to work with the Elder Justice Initiative and the folks there, and really trying to spread the word about how VOCA funding can be used to support elder abuse efforts for a crime victim. Adrian ADRIAN: Hi everyone. My name’s Adrian Wilairat I’m the OVC technical writer and editor I’ve been with the office since 2014, just over three years now, and I help OVC staff with writing and editing assignments, and I help coordinate the publication of a variety of documents that are printed and go up on our website Speaking of the website, I’m here to support Kate in navigating through some of the sites that you’ll see later on during this webinar KATE: Yeah, so on that note Adrian and I thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to the OVC website to get you all familiar with it So rather than having a PowerPoint presentation, we’re actually going to be using the website as we go through and showing you all the places that you can get information from our OVC website You can take it forward and hopefully you can share it with your colleagues And as we go through, I know that Lori and Danielle will be tracking questions and we really hope to be able to give you all some practical guidance and understanding of how VOCA funds are distributed And we really want you to ask us questions

so we can try to answer them And if we can’t, we’ll certainly follow up with you So with that, I see the polling questions are on and some people are starting So let me say the first question is: How familiar are you with OVC and the mission of OVC? So we’ll give that a couple of seconds for everyone to have a chance to respond Okay, before we get to the polling, Susan, are you here? SUSAN: Yes, this is Susan. I’m here KATE: Susan, I’m so glad you came in Sorry for all of the confusion All right, Susan, I’ll backtrack and let you introduce yourself and get situated SUSAN: Oh, terrific, okay Well, good afternoon everyone My name is Susan Lynch and I’m Senior Counsel for Elder Justice here at the Department of Justice My work basically focuses on prosecuting on long-term care facilities that don’t adequately care for their residents, as well as working on the policy side with wonderful colleagues like Kate and Shelly and others And so I’m happy to join you today, and I apologize for the confusion in the time KATE: Okay, great. So we started with the polling, Susan, so just to read back the results So some people are not familiar with — there’s about 12 people responding, 20 percent — 12 people who are responding that they’re not at all familiar with OVC 64 percent saying they’re somewhat familiar And 13 percent saying they’re very familiar So for that 13 percent, I hope I don’t bore you But for the first two groups I hope that you will walk out of here feeling more familiar with OVC and OVC funding All right, so can we go to the next question? Thank you So are you receiving funding — and when we say “you,” we mean your organization and not you individually — is your organization receiving funding from OVC either directly or through your state? All right So it looks like for about a little more than half of you all participating, your organizations are not currently receiving any type of funding from OVC A little less than 20 percent — now almost 20 percent — are receiving money directly from OVC And then about 26 percent are receiving money through the state We’re going to explain what that means in just a few minutes Okay, let’s go to number three. Thank you. Okay For those of you who are familiar with what a “VOCA administering agency” is, how many of you have had contact with your VOCA victim assistance administrator? Oh, I was really not expecting that result. That’s interesting So about 30 percent of you — for those of you who know what a VOCA victim assistance administering agency is — about 32 percent now have had contact, and then 25 percent haven’t And a lot of people don’t know what that is Again, I hope to have that cured by the end of the session All right, next question Okay. And then how many of you had no idea what we were just talking about? Okay, good. So most people have a little bit of knowledge but not that much experience with the agency Okay, and the last question, please? Okay, so this is drilling into the details — does your employing agency receive VOCA victim assistance funding? And that’s the state-level funding that would be received through the state at the subrecipient level Interesting, all right. So about 43 percent of you all do a little bit. Okay. All right, well, thank you very much

That was very helpful, giving us a good context for who’s out there and what we should be accomplishing in today’s conversation SUSAN: All right, so Kate, now that we have a better understanding of how many people are familiar with OVC, can you please give us a brief overview of OVC and its mission? KATE: Sure. We would be happy to do that So, Adrian, just pop in if I miss anything here. Okay So OVC is the Office for Victims of Crime, and what we do here is administer the Crime Victims Fund, which is a large fund that is made up of fines and penalties contributed to by defendants in different kinds of cases There are actually no taxpayer dollars that go into the Crime Victims Fund And at this point, as of the end of June, there was about $15.4 billion in the Crime Victims Fund And what Congress does every year is authorize the Office for Victims of Crime to spend a certain part of that money on crime victims’ related services So what we do is issue money through solicitation, and then the majority of the funding goes to states through formula funding, and then also to local, regional, and other state programs through what’s called a discretionary program to support victims and crime victim related programs And part of our mission is also to raise awareness both about crime victims’ issues, and also about what our office does to spread the word to try to enhance this type of services that are available to crime victims So this is one of the reasons why we are really grateful to Shelly and Susan and to Andy Mao from Elder Justice Initiative to have arranged this webinar so we can participate The Office for Victims of Crime, we operate under a statute In 1984 President Reagan signed into legislation the Victims of Crime Act statute That’s what VOCA stands for And under VOCA, there are four priority areas that state-level funding must be used for, that is for child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and underserved populations And the significance of those four priority areas for you all is because elder abuse really falls under each of those categories And when it comes to what an underserved population is, that is to be defined at the discretion of the state So many states are including elder abuse as an underserved population But there is also potential there if they are not, for you all to be collaborating with your partners and approaching administrators — which I’ll talk about toward the end of the session — encouraging them to include elder abuse as an underserved population And so what that means in practice is that states must spend 10 percent of their VOCA victim assistance funding on each of those category areas So 10 percent on child abuse, 10 percent on sexual assault, 10 percent on domestic violence, and 10 percent on underserved populations Can we go to the 21 link? Thank you Okay, so as part of our office’s mission in outreach to the community and to the stakeholders, we conducted a strategic outreach program — effort, really — and developed the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services final report And in that report it really identified what the needs were of crime victims and what areas we really needed to improve on So it’s very critical in helping us define what our current mission is Some of the areas that were identified as really lacking in services were legal assistance and also technology and multidisciplinary team responses Again all really critical to those of you who are providing elder abuse services So with that, I think that covers kind of a very broad overview of our office Adrian, is there anything else that you wanted to add in? ADRIAN: No, I think you covered it SUSAN: So, Kate, I have a question for you. Again, this is Susan So many of us have heard that there’s been a huge increase in funding at OVC Can you explain to us what that actually means?

KATE: Yeah, sure. Yes. It gets confusing because everyone talks about this huge increase and what does that actually mean, and how does it trickle down and impact service providers? So in the year 2014, Congress authorized OVC to spend $750 million on crime victim related services In 2015 Congress nearly, well more than tripled the amount of that funding and allowed us — authorized us to spend $2.36 billion And in 2016 it went up to $3.042 billion In 2017 it went down slightly, but not that significantly, and it is at $2.57 billion So really that’s a huge increase within the last three years of this type of funding Adrian, can we go to the funding screen part of the website? So, what we had just talked about, Susan, what I was just talking about a little bit earlier, was the VOCA victim assistance funding So I want to take a step back and kind of explain under VOCA what the different funding opportunities are that are especially relevant to you all as the victim service providers So one is the state funding We are required under VOCA to issue a certain amount of funding to all states through both compensation funding and VOCA victim assistance funding For the purposes of this webinar, we’re focusing on the VOCA victim assistance funding, because that’s really the money that is available to victim service providers through the state So what happens with that funding is that OVC distributes it by formula, which is in VOCA, and sends it out to the different states At that point the states then issue either requests for proposals, RFPs, or they can issue the money in other ways, down to subrecipients that are providing the services The reason why we are focusing so much on this is because while the funding increased to OVC over the last three years by more than three times as much, in effect because of the formula, what happened is that state funding has gone up at least four times as much So states are really flushed with money right now and are looking to expand the ways that they are spending these resources And they are looking to hear from service providers about new and innovative ways of spending this money to serve victims And there really is, based so much on the efforts of the Elder Justice Initiative, there’s really been a huge focus on elder justice work and on the need for elder justice services So the VOCA victim assistance administrators are the people who are actually responsible for distributing the funding at the state level They sit in the VOCA victim assistance administering office Their awareness is being increased, and there is a huge outreach effort to those administrators on the need for elder justice victim related services And I know that they are participating in webinars They’ve also made a huge effort to outreach to them at conferences, and there’s one-on-one training and technical assistance that’s being provided to the administrators on this issue And they are very eager to learn about all the different kinds of programs that are out there and available and impactful for elder victims So I just want to give an example In 2017, we expect that approximately $1.846 billion will be distributed to the state, and that’s out of the $2.57 billion that OVC is authorized to spend You will see that that really is a majority of the funding that’s going to states In addition — sorry, did somebody have a question? No Okay, so in addition to the state-level funding, OVC also issues what’s called discretionary funding So we issue solicitations on certain types of programs For example, in 2017 there was an Elder Justice innovative solicitation that went out And in years past we’ve also issued similar types of solicitations That 2017 solicitation was in conjunction

with the Elder Justice Initiative And similarly in 2015 or 2016 we also launched an Elder Justice AmeriCorps project, which was providing legal assistance providers at different legal organizations or victim service related organizations So I’m telling you all this to just help clarify that there are really two main funding streams at OVC that are available for you all to apply for One comes directly from the Office for Victims of Crime, that’s the discretionary funding, and those solicitations are usually relieved in the spring of the fiscal year And then also there is VOCA victim assistance formula funding that’s accessed through the state I hope that made some sense I know it’s really a lot of information SUSAN: Well, let me ask you then, Kate: Given that the majority of the funding is distributed to the states by formula for victims’ assistance, right, how did these states disburse those funds? If you can go into a little bit more detail on that KATE: Sure. Great question So on the initial, practical level, what happens, as I mentioned, is that the states can distribute the funding competitively or otherwise They have a lot of authority in how they issue that funding But really what’s guiding how states distribute the funding is the VOCA victim assistance rule that was recently finalized and published in August of 2016 And that doesn’t actually sound that recent, but it took like 13 years to get it done So in the big picture that’s kind of recent And the rules are very exciting for, I guess, those of us who appreciate that nerdy black-and-white letter of law But in practice it’s exciting because it really clarified how VOCA victim assistance funds can be used and expanded the use of that funding Can we pull up the comparison chart? This is on the OVC website This is the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services final report that I was talking about The reason why this is most significant to you all is because by the end of this when we talk about ways to contact your administering agency, this is a product that you want to take with you and talk to your administering agencies about This was produced with the input from VOCA victim assistance administrators So this document was literally partially written with them It’s their words They are invested in this just like the victim service providers and stakeholders All right. So then the next document that we wanted to share with you is the different funding streams Again, this is on the OVC website and this gives a very detailed walk-through of what the different funding streams are I focus on only two of them because I think they are most significant for our purposes And then we talked about the VOCA victim assistance rule, and this is the link to the Federal Register and where the VOCA victim assistance rule is located Again, this is also on our website and you can also access it obviously through the Federal Register And then what we were getting into is the brilliant document that one of my colleagues developed, which is a side-by-side comparison of the VOCA victim assistance guidelines And that’s what was previously governing how states could use VOCA victim assistance funding compared to the new rule So between my colleagues Ann and Adrian, they both worked on this and got this up here and accessible to the public It literally goes one by one through the changes to the rule and highlights the differences So I’m going to focus on a couple things that are different and I think are most relevant to you all In the new rule, in the preamble, it clarifies that VOCA victim assistance funding can be used for adult protective services funding so long as the services are related to victim services It also clarifies that VOCA victim assistance funding can be used for housing and relocation expenses That’s really significant and especially with the relocation, so that’s a change from the guidelines VOCA victim assistance funding can also be used for forensic interviews now, so long as it’s not just for law enforcement investigation

It has to be beneficial to the victim and conducted by a qualified and trained interviewer And as I mentioned before, VOCA victim assistance funding can be used for legal assistance, and this rule really expands how those funds can be used for legal assistance So whereas before it was somewhat limited, basically now funding can be used for all victim-related legal assistance needs, except for torts or criminal defense And one thing I wanted to really focus on, Susan, is that while this is a huge change and it really does greatly expand the use of the VOCA victim assistance funding, states still maintain the discretion about how they want to use the funding So this kind of sets a broad floor about how funding can be used, but the states then can narrow it down and may or may not choose to spend funding on certain programs But again it’s really up to the state on how they want to use the funding And then going back to what we talked about when we first started was the four different priority areas It’s the rule that sets out that 10 percent of the VOCA victim assistance funds must be used for child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and underserved populations SUSAN: And so in terms of narrowing the question, do you have examples that you can share with the group on how states are using the funding to support Elder Justice programs in particular? KATE: Yes, we can So when Adrian and I were trying to prepare for today’s webinar, we asked the people who oversee our performance metrics system — tool system — to compile some of the data This is a brand-new system. We call it the PMT The acronym is easier for me than the actual name So we’re still working on some tweaks within the PMT, so I’m going to try to give you a broad overview and then Shelly Jackson from the Elder Justice Initiative prepared some anecdotal analysis of some programs that are funded with OVC local victim assistance funding So we asked them to try to identify how many states are supporting adult protective service programs, and I don’t know whether this is an entirely accurate number or not, but what they pulled up was a total of eight organizations And I know for sure based on those results, it looks like Alabama, Ohio, and Wisconsin are definitely supporting adult protective services We also asked about elder abuse and legal assistance, and, according to that result, they broadened the category to include legal advice or interview advocacy So it was elder abuse and, either legal assistance, legal advice, or interview advocacy, and almost 3,000 organizations are receiving VOCA victim assistance funding at the subrecipient level So some examples of that type of funding are, in Maryland, Maryland Legal Aid has a lawyer and a paralegal that are providing free legal services to victims of elder abuse in partnership with the social services provider there Also, Pennsylvania. The SeniorLAW Center is receiving VOCA victim assistance funding to provide civil legal services and also support elder victims In addition, Oregon, Colorado, and California also have other legal assistance or legal-related programs that are being supported through VOCA victim assistance funding In addition we asked our PMT guys to pull data on multidisciplinary services and response teams, and they were not able to collect that data I don’t think that we have narrowed down the search words correctly However, Shelly had a couple examples of states that are funding multidisciplinary teams, and that includes California, which is supporting 14 elder abuse multidisciplinary teams throughout the state One example, in California, is the Elder Abuse Forensic Center, which is providing additional services and medicine in neuropsychology to provide comprehensive services and achieve better outcomes for the elder, independent adult population

in Riverside County Additionally, the District of Columbia is also supporting a multidisciplinary response team It’s called the District’s Collaborative Training and Response for Older Victims It’s a team dedicated to providing training, increasing collaboration, and strategically planning services for victims of elder abuse The team is comprised of many different victim service and medical facilities in D.C Just as an example, Adult Protective Services from D.C is involved, the Metropolitan Police Department is involved Legal Counsel for the Elderly The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the DC Forensic Nurse Examiners program That’s just an example of the many different organizations that are involved in that D.C. response We also ask them to pull data on the elder abuse hotline or crisis line responses And that was a total of 1,534 organizations That’s about 1,500 organizations throughout the country that are receiving some type of VOCA victim assistance funding to support those services And we also wanted to highlight, now I’m getting more into Shelly’s data and I want to highlight some of the programs that Shelly found that VOCA funds are being used to support So in Kentucky, there’s ElderServe, which is a crime victim services program that assists older adults in Jefferson County who are victims of crime including but not limited to crimes of financial exploitation, abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, robbery, burglary, and caregiver neglect In Texas, the Senior Justice Assessment Center is receiving funding — and they are serving the complex and unique needs of senior victims of abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation through a multidisciplinary response team And in Oregon, this is a legal type of program, Oregon Elder Safe is helping victims age 65 and older after a crime is reported to the police, and continues to help them through the criminal justice system So I imagine what they’re doing is providing some legal services but also doing a tremendous amount of advocacy with navigating the criminal justice process And then in Maine there is an organization, Martha’s Cottage, which is providing transitional housing in support of services that help older victims escape abusive situations and find long-term safety and peace In Pennsylvania, another Pennsylvania-based program is Providing Advocacy for Victimized Elderly program, and that is providing victim advocacy for any adult over the age of 60 who has either been a victim or a witness of a crime in Philadelphia, including older adult victims in long-term care facilities In Alabama, there is another program called the Elderly and Disabled Adult Victim Services project, which is providing short-term services to APS [ph.] victims of abuse, and that one does looks like it did successfully get noted in our PMT tool Anyway. So they are providing services to victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation for short-term, in-home sitter or homemaker services, as well as for short-term placement in assisted living, nursing homes, or foster care And there’s one other program too that I wanted to highlight, because I think that sometimes the rule can be read very literally, but it is intended to be read expansively So I know of one program that is using VOCA victim assistance funding to support the removal of bedbugs for elder victims of crime, because that’s a huge need, and so they’re able to support that type of program So, Susan, I hope that helps a little bit SUSAN: Oh no, definitely. And then the question I have now is one that I think many folks listening probably are thinking, which is: How do service providers actually access some of the funding? How do they get that funding to do the good work that they want to do? KATE: Okay, so a couple of tips on that So right now you are seeing — Adrian just pulled up the map — that outlines where the VOCA victim administering agency is in each state and on how you can contact your VOCA victim assistance administrator So certainly that’s great contact information

My strong, strong recommendation — and I think that all of the VOCA victim assistance administrators with whom I have worked and Shelly has worked — they all report back that the most effective way of approaching them is through collaboration It is not through one-on-one calling them up and saying, “We’re doing this, can you issue an RFP to fund this activity?” It is much more effective if you all come together and say, “We have this idea in mind and we would like it to be funded, and look at all of these different organizations that are working together collaboratively, and we can provide all of these different kinds of services to support elder victims. Is this something you’ll consider?” If your state’s not already doing it, I really highly encourage you all to work together and then just hound the administrators until you get your in-person meeting, calls, emails, written documents And I know Elder Justice Initiative has compiled some sample communication, some sample letters, that you can use to get in touch with administrators It’s really about that collaborative effort And one example is in Michigan There are legal assistance providers in Michigan who had come together and were able to, under Michigan’s general request for proposals, propose a legal assistance program that started off with just domestic violence and then expanded to include elder abuse Then after that they saw how much of a need there was for elder abuse victim services, legal system services specifically So Michigan the next year funded an entirely separate project specifically for legal assistance for elder abuse victims in Michigan And that was really a result of the network of advocates and legal assistance providers So those are my tips for getting in touch with the VOCA victim assistance administrator, and funding SUSAN: And I guess another question I would ask is, have you seen particularly successful strategies or, really, barriers to moving forward on getting the funding that you could share with folks? KATE: Really the most successful strategy is that collaboration, and then it’s also identifying the need So a lot of administering agencies right now are conducting needs assessment in the field, and they are doing outreach to try to identify where the gaps are in services, both at the state level and at the local and regional level So if you are not aware of those kind of strategic outreach efforts by your state VOCA victim assistance administrator and the needs assessment, talk to other victim service providers and find out what’s happening, or try to get in touch with your VOCA victim assistance administrator and find out if they are doing that kind of outreach so you make sure that your voice is heard during that needs assessment and that outreach activity SUSAN: Okay. Thank you, Kate. That was actually really helpful So we’re starting to get a bunch of activity on the question panel; here’s a question for you — so I thought if there’s anything else you’d like to add before we move on to everybody’s very interested questions Is there anything else you wanted to share? KATE: No, thanks, questions are great SUSAN: Okay, terrific Well, so we have one question where the person is asking, does there need to be a [inaudible] KATE: And also, we just wanted to follow up, too There’s something similar on OVC’s website that Adrian is going to speak to ADRIAN: Thanks, Kate Susan’s description just now reminded me that OVC has a similar function on our website It’s called the Crime Victim Services directory, located on our site, very accessible, and like the Elder Justice website, it allows a victim or a potential victim or a loved one of a victim to type in his or her ZIP code and then be directed to the appropriate service providers that are very close to where one lives So it’s a complimentary resource that OVC has, but it’s very broad and not limited just to elder justice But victims of potential elder abuse can certainly access the OVC directory as well KATE: Exactly, and I think that the real benefit of something like this is, if you have a family member that is a victim of elder abuse or financial exploitation

or any other victim in any other way, it’s not only good for the person in the location but also, like I say, if you have a family member in California that you’re caring for and you want to find out about resources there, sometimes you really feel at a loss to be in touch with and tight with the resources in another community, clear across the country So I think both the OVC and the Elder Justice Initiative website give you the entrée into communities you may need to be able to access SUSAN: Kate, a bunch of the questions are coming in, so I’ll read you the next one This question here says that you mentioned that states define “underserved populations.” And this person asks: Do we just ask the administrator how they’ve defined this term? If this term does not include elder abuse, do you have tips for getting elder abuse included? KATE: That’s a great question. I’m not sure Okay, so we just recently did an analysis, an assessment of each state, what each state is posting about how they are interpreting the VOCA victim assistance rule My first suggestion would be to look on your state’s website to see if they have defined what an underserved population is And my next suggestion is, if you cannot find it there, is to email me My contact information is on there, and I’ll see if we have that information I’m not sure, states may be required to provide us with how they are defining underserved populations so we may have that information And then, of course, you can always call or contact your VOCA victim assistance administrator to try to get that information They’re just extremely busy so I don’t know how timely or responsive they will be It’s actually frequently a criticism of me too, but I’ll try to be timely and responsive And so in terms of tips about getting elder abuse included, I would really rely on the language in the Vision 21 report and language that the Elder Justice Initiative has put together That website is a wealth of information, just as Susan was saying, and the arguments are there about why elder victims are an underserved population SUSAN: Exactly, yes. And there’s a little bit of information too that members of the audience want to share with others, so I’ll go ahead and read that out So, Kenneth Steinmann [ph.] says — [inaudible] anyone from Ohio — that he’s directing the needs assessment for VOCA from Ohio, and hopefully everybody can see his email address Brenda Walters also shares that in West Virginia all residents are mandatory reporters of child and elder abuse and that Brenda’s agency will be doing a training on mandated reporting for interagencies and the public So that’s a little bit more information that we’re sharing amongst ourselves here today So I wanted to get that out there KATE: Oh, that’s great SUSAN: Okay, so I just sent out another request for any questions. I know this has been a lot of information While we continue to talk, if you have other questions, please do send them along We’re very lucky to have Kate sharing this knowledge and information with us We want to take advantage of her expertise while we have it for a few more moments Kate, I guess one other question that sort of comes from the geographic breadth of where the questions are coming from this afternoon is: Are you seeing any sort of trends, or do you have any advice based on where folks may be applying or where they may be in terms of strategies or barriers that they may be seeing in one place versus another? KATE: That’s an interesting question: I haven’t I know that many states are really contemplating, right now, I mean literally this month on how to either start new elder abuse services for victims in their states, start funding those programs in their state or enhancing those programs I have not heard of any particular barriers on this But I wonder if we could collect some of that information through our PMT and see if there are any trends

about states that are experiencing or subrecipients that are experiencing any kinds of challenges, particularly challenges based on geography or other issues I don’t know if that’s possible SUSAN: Okay. So we have another question about the use of money, this one going to prosecutors, etc So this question is: Can any of this money be used to create or support designated prosecutors for elder abuse and financial exploitation, specifically in financial cases — and this person indicates that there are no or very few designated and trained prosecutors on these issues in this jurisdiction And, Kate, after you answer I’m going to share a little bit of what the Elder Justice Initiative is doing in this very space So I’ll let you go ahead KATE: Well, actually, why don’t you start, because I think your answer is more positive than mine. So you go SUSAN: Oh, okay. Well, I’ll try to be [inaudible] positive here too So we are very proud at the Elder Justice Initiative of the work that we’re doing in terms of training prosecutors on elder abuse and financial exploitation, and that’s happening in a number of different venues One is, for those who may not be aware on this call, the department in March of 2016 launched 10 elder justice task forces across the country And the purpose of these task forces is basically threefold One is to prosecute elder neglect and essentially grossly substandard care in nursing facilities across the country So for those facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, if their quality of care is grossly substandard then we prosecute them under the False Claims Act The second is training So these 10 task forces within their district, since this is their federal district, one of their charges in admissions is to train others — both federal, state, and local prosecutors and investigators to handle these types of cases We’re very excited that this training has expanded not only to federal and state prosecutors but also to first responders and to law enforcement, and I’ll talk about that in a moment And then thirdly is community outreach And in the process of community outreach there you’re really educating the community on financial scams Right. So it’s sort of this idea that knowledge is power And if in fact the older adult knows that the IRS is not going to call them and ask them for their intimate financial information — and doesn’t feel compelled to give it but rather hangs up — then you’ve basically prevented one case of financial exploitation as opposed to having to prosecute it So those are the three different functions of these task forces that were just launched a year ago Bigger than that of course is a project Andy Mao and Shelly Jackson and others on our team are working on, which is essentially training law enforcement, which is, I think, part of the question here on how to investigate and move forward on elder abuse cases A group of us — and I’m working with folks on this — is also training first responders, so folks who show up particularly in the community, but it can also be in a long-term care facility on scene, and see that there’s an elder who’s been in this case more likely physically abused, know that elder abuse, number one, is a crime in this state Number two, how to collect evidence and create reports in such a way that that can be used later on So really trying to build the infrastructure and the knowledge is I think something that the department is committed to, both at the main justice level and through that task force So Kate, let me turn it over to you to add to that, but that was pretty positive KATE: Yes, that was very positive! I knew you had a more encouraging answer than I did Because by statute under VOCA, our funds cannot be used for prevention So that really does include funding prosecutors But what VOCA victim assistance funding, generally OVC funding can be used to support training to law enforcement and prosecutors on victim focus responses and trauma recovery So there’s a myriad of victim-related issues that law enforcement and prosecutors can be trained on, and victim assistance funding can be used to support those efforts But natural conditions to prosecute or to investigate these type of crimes, VOCA funds can’t be used for that And so that’s [inaudible] SUSAN: Okay. And we have another question from someone who says, “Are there any task forces in Arizona or in the West Coast?” And that’s actually a really great question, because you made me realize that I can speak about

something else differently than I probably should have Yes, on the West Coast. In Seattle, there is a task force, which is I believe the western district of Washington, and in San Francisco, northern district of California, there is a task force And what I should have said are two things Number one, on the Elder Justice website, if you go to the section involving prosecutors and click on that — and I won’t do the share screen now because obviously all of the information is out there that Kate’s been using — but if you go to “prosecutors,” you will see an entire section for task forces If you click on “task forces,” you will see all the task forces But the good news is you will also see contact information And so the contact information there are prosecutors, generally civil chiefs or those folks who are basically the task force lead in that jurisdiction Their email is there and you can email them with questions They’re very open and have agreed to be out there publicly So that’s information. I think to get to the question of the task forces — the task forces really were selected because they had expertise in the area of skilled nursing facility prosecution, but also because it was such a strong federal, state, and local connection, and basically multidisciplinary team that was existing Because an organization or area does not have a task force does not mean that the department doesn’t support all of the activities of training community outreach and prosecution in that jurisdiction So for example, in Arizona we work with some great federal prosecutors there and state and local folks that if you have a particular interest we can put you in contact with But the task forces really were an opportunity to start in 10 jurisdictions a more formalized process that in many cases is formalizing a network that already exists So that’s that, on that. We have another question, Kate Do you know how to get information on the OVC directory of victim services? Correct it if there’s an error in there KATE: Oh, I’m going to turn that one over to Adrian ADRIAN: Sure. There should be an email address It’s AskOVC@ncjrs.gov, I believe I can confirm that by the end of the webinar The short answer is there’s an easy fix by emailing OVC, and I will just confirm that I have given you the right email address. So, I’ll let you know in a few minutes SUSAN: Okay, thank you KATE: Susan, can I just clarify something I mentioned earlier? SUSAN: Of course KATE: Okay, so this is about the sample letters and communicating with the VOCA victim assistance administrator So I did get in touch with Shelly and she clarified for me that what is available as a resource is what’s on Access to Justice’s website And that is, they do have the sample letters and sample communications that really have been successful in getting VOCA victim assistance administrators to fund legal assistance programs in particular But of course you can broaden it so it’s not just legal assistance What she said is that what she and other folks at Elder Justice Initiative usually recommend is to contact the administrator directly to get a sample letter They may be in the process, or are going to start developing sample letters My suggestion before you contact an administrator is to just reach out to some of the other victim service providers in your community, even if you don’t have a direct relationship with them Most states are funding different domestic violence and sexual assault programs And legal aid too A lot of the legal aid organizations are doing outreach to their VOCA victim assistance administrators So there will be sample letters, for sure, among those organizations So I would contact them too, to see if they’d be willing to share I think this is something that we can certainly work on with Elder Justice Initiative too about some sample letters to post — make available — so that service providers can have an easier way of accessing and contacting their VOCA victim assistance administrator And I see that Adrian has pulled up information And of course, he was right I can’t believe you even doubted yourself for a second ADRIAN: That’s right, I gave you the right email address, and I will just give you a little tutorial on how to get there So I pulled up the directory Hopefully we are still sharing our screen Oop. There’s an echo I’m hearing myself now

The URL is OVC.ncjrs.gov/ findvictimservices This is the home page for the OVC directory I mentioned Click right here on “Get Posted.” Scroll down to the very bottom where it says, “If you have questions about content monitoring, contact the database administrator.” That’s us, my colleagues SUSAN: Sorry to interrupt Can you just click on the share screen button again? ADRIAN: Oh, okay All right, is that good? SUSAN: Yeah, I think so ADRIAN: Great. So there’s that home page again It’s OVC.ncjrs.gov/ findvictimservices That’s the home page of the OVC directory Click on “Get Posted,” right here, it’s hyperlinked Scroll all the way down to the bottom You’ll see the very last sentence of the page is, “If you have questions about content monitoring, contact the database administrator.” Click on that link And here you go: If you have a question or comment please email askovc@ncjrs.gov, and that will allow you to update the information that should be posted in the directory Anything whatsoever SUSAN: Kate, I have a quick question How are we doing on time? Do you have a couple of minutes or are we over time? KATE: Lori? LORI: We are at time So I suggest that if you do have other questions that you can email them in We can put that email address back up on that last slide, elder.justice@USDOJ.gov, if you do have additional questions or suggestions And then thank you to Kate and Adrian and Susan for joining us Great presentation. I’ll leave it to you for any final words KATE: Thanks so much We really appreciate this chance to talk to you all SUSAN: Yes. Thank you And this is just the beginning of a discussion, so to the extent that there is more information that you need, you have the email address and a wealth of information on the websites that we’ve shared with you Thank you for your time today