Taking Action Against Elder Mistreatment

Our National Shame : Little to No Funding for Elder Abuse Prevention and Response By Kathy Greenlee

A word to elder justice advocates: getting elder abuse programs funded requires patience, skill— and a long view.

E lder abuse programs are inadequately funded—at every level, in every way. For a local program or state agency to apply for money, a pot of money has to exist. This article describes differences in federal support for state-level child protective programs and adult protective pro- grams—an important aspect of the broader feld of elder abuse. Additionally, it reviews com- mon sources of federal funding for elder abuse research, programs, and services. Finally, it ad­ dresses what is involved when a government agency obtains and distributes public dollars. It does not cover private funding sources, such as investments by philanthropies. Mitigating the defciency of funding for el­ der maltreatment programs requires sustained effort, effective strategy, public and private coor- dination, and dogged persistence. Progress is pos- sible, but it is difficult. Success requires patience, skill, and a long view.

In 1974, Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), Public Law 93–247. This law laid a foundation for com- prehensively addressing child abuse in the United States. CAPTA established the National Cen- ter on Child Abuse & Neglect, and required the Center to publish an annual summary of current research, develop an information clearinghouse on programs showing promise, publish train- ing materials, provide technical assistance, con- duct research, and issue demonstration grants. In addition, CAPTA provided grants to states, if the state passed child abuse and neglect laws, and created systems of reporting, investigation, and response. Congress funded this law. CAPTA has been amended many times since 1974. States have developed a comprehensive approach to child abuse and child welfare, sup- ported by long-standing dedicated federal fund- ing, research, and technical support. The public,

abstract Funding for elder abuse prevention and response is constrained and insufficient. There is no dedicated federal funding for state-administered Adult Protective Services programs, which differs substantially from federal support for child protective services. The departments of Justice and Health & Human Services fund grants for aspects of elder abuse–related efforts. Securing addition federal appropriations requires strategy, persistence, and knowledge of the government appropriations process. This article describes the nature of federal financial support for state protective programs and reviews common sources of federal funding for elder abuse–related efforts. | key words : elder abuse, funding, adult protective services, grants, federal, budget

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Volume 44 . Number 1 | 117

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