San Diego State University Research Foundation’s Academy for Professional Excellence was chosen as one of two grantees to receive a grant for its leadership in the fight against elder abuse in the United States. The award was given by the Huguette Clark Family Fund for the Protection of Elders in the amount of $26,000. This was one of only two awards granted, and the first couple of grants awarded by the fund. The other grant was awarded to the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.
The Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders is a donor advised fund created by members of the Clark Family to honor their aunt, who died in 2012. The Fund supports innovative organizations and programs that seek new strategies to fight the financial abuse of elders, including emotional and psychological abuse. Grants will be made to organizations that address immediate needs overlooked by traditional programs, or develop effective models to fight elder abuse that can be replicated nationwide.
SDSU will be using the grant to train Adult Protective Service (APS) workers. Thanks to the grant, the training program will gain access to online courses on financial exploitation and undue influence. SDSU Program Manager for Multidiciplinary Adult Services Training Evaluation and Results program, Lori Delagrammatikas, stated, “Financial abuse is a complex type of crime…and because it’s a complex subject, there needs to be more training for professionals on how to prevent it and how to identify it when it’s taking place.”
The interactive online training program combines games and real-life scenarios to help APS workers recognize financial exploitation and address the problem. Participants will be able to respond to case studies and will be scored on the quality of their responses. Program developers hope to have the program ready for this fall.