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© 2009 Springer Publishing Company Between 1984 and 1996, the department provided leadership for a coalition of enforcement personnel, prosecutors, and social workers in social service agencies who met monthly to discuss Addressing legislation, plan prevention, and advocacy activities and share information across disciplines. DFTA’s interest in promoting Fragmentation greater coordination across agencies was propelled by its Elderly Crime Victims Resource Center, established in 1979. The coalition Through an Elder Abuse never developed the infrastructure that would enable it to become a self-sustaining body, however, and when the DFTA staffer who provided the sole leadership was no longer available to carry the Network: The New York major share of the work, the coalition disbanded. Nevertheless, con- tact among individual member organizations continued on issues of City Experience common concern, and several former members hosted case consulta- tion groups that, meeting periodically, also kept relationships alive. In 2003, DFTA again reached out to elder abuse stakeholders working in a variety of settings, including social services, domes- Aurora Salamone, MPS tic violence programs, academia, law enforcement, and New York Donna Dougherty, JD City government. DFTA invited them to participate on an advi- Gail Evans, MA sory committee that would provide direction to the creation of a training curriculum for law enforcement ofﬁcers, prosecutors, and relevant court personnel. The curriculum would cover the signs and symptoms of physical abuse, mental abuse, and ﬁnan- A s in many municipalities, New York City’s approach to cial exploitation of the elderly and the most effective approaches elder abuse is fragmented. Different funding streams and to ensure the prosecution of these crimes. DFTA had received a legislative mandates seeking to address elder abuse have 2-year grant from the Department of Justice to develop the curric- created separate systems with divergent goals, priorities, and views. ulum and train on it. Partnering with DFTA on the grant were the In addition, the lack of mandatory reporting requirements has cre- Mayor’s Ofﬁce of Criminal Justice Coordinator, the Mayor’s Ofﬁce ated an environment in which little or no data about elder abuse to Combat Domestic Violence, the New York Police Department are exchanged among agencies, and there is no uniﬁed approach to and two community-based nonproﬁt organizations, the Jewish advocacy, worker training, public education, and outreach. Adding Association of Services for the Aged (JASA), and the Center to the problem, there has been tremendous growth and special- Against Domestic Violence. The 20-member advisory commit- ization in victim services over the last two decades. Professionals tee reviewed the curriculum and many contributed sections. This in many ﬁelds outside of law enforcement, prosecution, victim experience of working together on a common project forged new services, and the courts—ﬁelds traditionally concerned with elder relationships, strengthened old ones, and reinforced the conviction abuse—are not connected to the elder abuse system although they of all concerned that New York City would beneﬁt greatly from a increasingly encounter cases of such abuse, neglect, exploitation, coordinated approach to problems of fragmentation in elder abuse and domestic violence requiring an immediate and appropriate prevention, prosecution, and services. response. This article is about The New York City Elder Abuse Network1 BACKGROUND TO NETWORK FORMATION (NYCEAN), formed in 2006 to address fragmentation and lack of a uniﬁed approach by (a) facilitating linkages among police, prosecu- In 2004, New York state held a Summit on Elder Abuse that cre- tors, providers of direct elder abuse services (e.g., legal and victims’ ated an action agenda. The New York State Coalition
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