“We Are Family: When Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation Hit Home” is a blog featuring a case study that was published in the American Society on Aging’s Generations publication and on their AgeBlog. We are summarizing this case on our blog because it provides yet another example of the complexity of elder abuse cases and highlights the critical need for a coordinated response. We thank Jeannie Jennings Beidler, the author of the blog, for her heroic efforts on behalf of her grandparents and for courageously sharing the details of this personal family story so that we all can learn from it and thus protect other elders from experiencing a similar fate. More →
The Brooklyn MDT Approach
The clients of the Brooklyn MDT are professionals responding to the needs of elder abuse victims. (Thus, the team does not provide direct services to victims.) A highly collaborative endeavor, the Brooklyn MDT is staffed by professionals from government, non-profit and health care organizations and meets 3x/month at the Brooklyn APS Office. The team is led by Robin Roberts, MDT Coordinator. Representatives from the following organizations comprise the team:
The Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging
Kings County DA’s Office
NYC Department for the Aging
NYC Elder Abuse Center
NYC Human Resources Administration Adult Protective Services
The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale
Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care
The Brooklyn MDT works with liaisons from NYPD, VA New York Harbor Healthcare System – Brooklyn Campus and other agencies on a case-by-case basis. For more information about the organizations and individuals staffing the MDT, click here.
Problem solving during team meetings occurs through animated discussions guided by the following core values and motivated by a deep concern about the health, well-being and safety of older adults:
- Respect all members to foster group cohesion and build trust.
- Approach team discussions with an open-mind to strengthen collaborations.
- Adhere to the confidentiality agreement to protect victims and fortify the team.
- Ask questions to obtain accurate information for the development of effective interventions.
- Create action steps during team meetings and hold timely follow up discussions to improve case responses.
- Increase inter/intra agency coordination to reduce service duplication and system fragmentation.
- Brainstorm ideas to create innovative solutions to difficult problems.
- Seek service flexibility to develop new responses to seemingly intractable problems.
- Embrace creativity.
The following is the eligibility criteria for a case to be brought to the NYCEAC’s Brooklyn MDT for review:
- The elder abuse victim must be 60 and over AND reside in Brooklyn, or the case needs to have someone age 60 and over living in a dwelling located in Brooklyn.
- If the victim is under 60 OR there is nobody in the house 60 and over AND/OR the dwelling is not located in Brooklyn, the case will be considered for consultation at the discretion of the NYCEAC’s Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator (MDTC), Robin Roberts, LCSW.
In addition, the NYCEAC offers 1:1 medical and social work case consultation services to Brooklyn professionals working on elder abuse cases. (See the Case Consultations page for more information about these services.)
In August 2010, the Brooklyn MDT made a DVD of a mock case discussion to help people understand what happens during meetings. View it here:
For More Information
To receive additional information about the Brooklyn MDT, to refer a case for expert review and recommendations and or to obtain a case consultation, please contact Robin Roberts, LMSW at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 718-722-4839.