Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $260,006)
A rigorous research design is needed to support the allocation of future resources to the existing four Elder Abuse Forensic Centers and determine the rationale for creating more EAFCs at additional sites. While early'mostly qualitative'indications suggest that the model is a fruitful approach for handling complex cases of elder abuse, there is as of yet no comprehensive, rigorous evidence to support this qualitative find. In an effort to provide the best possible research design to test the EAFC model, this project will initiate a randomized controlled trial design on the well established Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center (the Center). Using a multidisciplinary team approach, the elder abuse forensic center model brings together professionals from fields such as geriatrics, law enforcement, and social services with a goal of alleviating myriad possible consequences for victims of elder abuse and neglect. A minimum estimated case load of 300 will be recruited during year one and followed for 18 months, during which time intake data, case tracking data, and case outcome data will be collected to provide a systematic evaluation of the Center's impact.
Supported by staff from the University of Southern California, the Center has established the largest, most complete evaluation database available at any EAFC. This study builds on the existing data collected and lessons learned over the course of the Center's three-year history and allows for randomization of cases when cases enter the Center's system. Statistical analyses will be performed on several levels to ascertain the benefit of EAFC evaluation: e.g., descriptive statistics, independent sample t-tests, ANOVA/multiple regression. Finally, a dataset without identifiers will be compiled for dissemination through NIJ, and an instructive guide will be constructed to guide future EAFCs through the process of performing an evaluation.