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About Us

Page history last edited by Krista Brown 13 years, 4 months ago



The Workgroup started in 2008 when a small group of service providers participating in the Archstone Foundation’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Initiative began meeting to explore how common challenges and needs could be addressed through information sharing, problem solving, and collective advocacy. Group members also identified and responded to opportunities for affecting change.



Workgroup Goals & Objectives


Supported by a 15-month grant from the Archstone Foundation, the group’s objectives are to:


  • Document what has been done to date to prevent and address elder abuse in California, identify unmet needs for services and policy, and recommend promising solutions. 


  • Create dynamic partnerships among service providers, researchers, advocacy groups, commissions, educators, responders, and policy makers to improve services to vulnerable and abused elders, share practices, and coordinate response systems. 


  • Create mechanisms and opportunities for information sharing, discussion, problem solving, consensus building, collaboration, and collective advocacy. 


  • Disseminate information and offer recommendations to service providers, policy makers, program developers, academic institutions, advocacy groups, and foundations to ensure that abuse prevention services and policy meet critical needs and are informed by research and practice experience. 


  • Provide support and leadership to program and policy development at the state, national, and international levels.



Plan of Action


To achieve our objectives, we are carrying out the following activities:


  • Meeting with a wide assortment of stakeholder groups to explore unmet needs.


  • Convening subgroups to work on identified issue areas, including: Reporting, Response & Data Collection, Safeguarding the Long-Term Care System, Financial Abuse, and the Justice System.


  • Planning a two-day stakeholder summit.


  • Developing a statewide blueprint for a sustained, proactive, and coordinated approach to advocacy and a framework for implementation.


  • Enlist and mobilize a corp of volunteers to assist in various Workgroup tasks, visit Volunteer Opportunities to learn how you can get involved with this ground breaking project today! 



Overarching Values that Guide Our Work


  • California’s abused and vulnerable seniors can be best served through a multifaceted and balanced approach that offers supportive and protective interventions to prevent abuse as well as remedies that ensure justice, relief, and reparations to victims.


  • Effectively addressing the complex problem of elder abuse requires that multiple voices be heard. The participation, insights, resources, outlooks, and leadership of diverse stakeholder groups are critical to increasing the state’s capacity to protect its vulnerable members.


  • Approaches to elder abuse must reflect California’s rich diversity.


  • Public policy and services must be informed by research and evidence-based practice.





To download CEJW Goals & Accomplishments as of Sept 23, 2010, click here. Below is a small sample of Workgroup accomplishments:


  • Provided testimony to the California Department on Aging (CDA) in the development of its Five Year plan. Recommendations for how CDA can expand its capacity to prevent abuse included encouraging senior centers to develop policies to prevent proprietary or predatory salespersons who pose as objective financial advisors from making presentations, providing training on complex and emergent forms of financial abuse to legal services providers, and encouraging caregiver support programs to screen for high risk situations. The group has offered to provide information and technical assistance to CDA in implementing these measures.


  • Explored discrepancies in how Adult Protective Services units across the state and nationally define eligibility. The group’s findings have been presented at state and national conferences to stimulate discussion about the need for greater clarity and uniformity in APS response.


  • Developed “Mental Health Service Needs of Vulnerable Elders: A Fact Sheet” to assist advocates access California Proposition 63 funds. Proposition 63 (now known as the Mental Health Services Act) imposed a 1% income tax on personal income in excess of $1 million to support county mental health programs. Program developers around the state have used the Fact Sheet in developing funding proposals.


  • Collaborated with the Center of Excellence in Elder Abuse and Neglect at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to explore salient issues identified by projects supported by the Archstone Foundation Elder Abuse and Neglect Initiative. Topics discussed included:
    • The need for greater protections in the state’s long term-care network;
    • Emerging forms of fraud and financial abuse;
    • Problems related to the state’s mandatory reporting and response system;
    • The need for more conservators and alternatives to conservatorship.



Project Leadership


The California Elder Justice Workgroup is funded by a grant from the Archstone Foundation. The grant is administered by the Center of Excellence in Elder Abuse and Neglect at the University of California, Irvine (UCI)



  • Lisa Nerenberg, Workgroup Chair 
  • Krista Brown, Communications Coordinator
  • Mary Counihan, Community Liaison
  • Mary Twomey, Center of Excellence in Elder Abuse and Neglect Liaison
  • Barbara Amaro, Student Intern and Communications Assistant


Steering Committee 

  • Krista Brown, APS Training Project Coordinator, Bay Area Academy, San Francisco State University
  • Mary Counihan, MSW, Consultant
  • Molly Davis, Director, Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, WISE & Healthy Aging
  • Lori Delagrammatikas, MSW, Coordinator, Project MASTER, Academy for Professional Excellence, San Diego State University
  • Laura Giles, MSG, Program Officer, Archstone Foundation
  • Heidi Li, JD, Managing Attorney, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach
  • Adria Navarro, LCSW, Research Assistant/Doctoral Candidate, Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California
  • Lisa Nerenberg, MSW, MPH, Consultant
  • Terri Restelli-Deits, MSW, Planner, Area Agency on Aging Serving Napa-Solano
  • Shawna Reeves, MSW, Program Coordinator, Fair Lending Project for Seniors,

          Council on Aging Silicon Valley

  • Mary Twomey, MSW, Co-Director, Center of Excellence in Elder Abuse and Neglect, University of California Irvine



Click here to download the full Project description in PDF format.


For questions, comments, suggestions or to learn how to participate in the Workgroup, please contact calejworkgroup@gmail.com



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