Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $995,926)
The proposed study aims to evaluate a current OVC demonstration project designed to combat elder financial exploitation. The Metropolitan Family Service (MFS) Legal Aid Society (LAS) Innovations in Addressing Elder Financial Exploitation Project funded by the Office of Victims of Crime has developed the Financial Exploitations Intervention Team (FEIT) program. This program is a closed-loop referral system, which is incorporated into the workflow of adult protective services (APS), banks, law enforcement, and legal services. This referral system aims to establish a continuity of services between MFS and community-based resources to fight financial exploitation (FE) and fraud. Closed loop refers to the ability to identify FE and fraud and measure their severity, designing services based on that information, and subsequently assessing outcomes of those services and reporting them to service providers. The ultimate FEIT will be a system that includes a team of representatives from all providers to inform decisions about system development and functioning.
The applicant proposes two projects: (1) To conduct an evaluability assessment of the FEIT program that would include a detailed, accurate logic model, practice-based measures, and a FEIT program manual; and (2) To pilot-test the FEIT system using the new measures and FEIT protocol in a six-month, small-sample evaluation of the proof of concept. The applicant proposes conducting the evaluability assessment through participant observation, focus groups, and cognitive interviews. The proposed research will focus on the issue of FE, including fraud, which is one of the most common types of elder abuse. Adult protective services, banks, law enforcement, and legal services have not yet developed empirically validated systems and best practices to fight this threat, which leaves older adults vulnerable.
The ultimate goal of this initial assessment will be a subsequent full-scale evaluation study. Ultimately, a full evaluation of the FEIT will serve as the first rigorous, comprehensive, empirical test of an integrated, multidisciplinary team including APS, banks, law enforcement, and legal aid. Deliverables of note include (1) A suite of measurement instruments, (2) A description of a coordinated training and service system, (3) An outcome assessment to provide feedback on effectiveness and accountability; and (4) An evaluability assessment report. Findings from this phase will provide a tested system for the field to use or adapt, as well as a foundation on which researchers can build.
"Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF