San Mateo County Elder & Dependent Adult Protection Team-2019 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

San Mateo County Elder & Dependent Adult Protection Team-2019 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards


NICOLE SATO:
Our community of aging adults here in San Mateo County
is growing rapidly. TARA HEUMANN: And we have issues
of elder abuse. We’re trying to be as
responsive as possible through our
multidisciplinary team. EDAPT is focused
on investigating and addressing financial abuse of elder
and dependent adults. NICOLE SATO: The Elder Dependent
Adult Protective Team is comprised of
Adult Protective Services, the District Attorney’s office,
County Counsel, the public guardian,
and law enforcement. SHANNON MORGAN:
After the launching, we saw financial abuse cases
increase by over 47 percent within a fiscal year. The complexity
of the fraud that we’re seeing is growing, in large part,
because of identity theft. TARA HEUMANN: We see a lot
of real estate fraud. These offenders will just
steal everything that seniors here
in the Bay Area have spent their entire lives
working for and saving for. And it’s the role of our team
to mobilize as quickly as we can to try and restore the home
to the senior and recoup as many funds
as we possibly can. WOMAN: You want to touch base
on the Smith restitution? NICOLE SATO: Yes. Our hope is to alleviate
the pain and suffering that many of these older
and dependent adults have been through. TARA HEUMANN:
A member of our team is a full-time training
and outreach coordinator. SHANNON MORGAN:
Over the past 3 years, there’s been almost 500
community outreach or in-service events, and I really believe that the
reports that we are receiving, the uptick, is really correlated to the work that
this person is doing. TARA HEUMANN: The creation
of the team has resulted in bringing much more
community attention to the issue of elder
and dependent adult abuse. NICOLE SATO: He was going
to the victim’s home. We have been able to secure
more than 1.7 million in court-ordered restitution
for victims. One of the best outcomes
is really the teamwork invested by all of these
different disciplines to really seek justice and helping them when they are
in their greatest time of need. It feels really good
to be able to work with a community
who are often overlooked but who deserve our respect
and our time. Everyone on our team
feels fortunate that this is what we get
to do at work every day.

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