ELDER JUSTICE INITIATIVE ON ELDERCARING COORDINATION 2018 THREE YEAR PROGRESS REPORT

The ACR Elder Justice Initiative on Eldercaring Coordination (“Eldercaring Coordination Initiative”) wishes to commemorate the work of the Task Forces on Eldercaring Coordination with this three-year report of the progress made since the Eldercaring Coordination Guidelines were approved and adopted in 2015.  The purpose of this document is to remind the organizations who joined together to develop eldercaring coordination of their initial contribution and chart the substantive developments since the Eldercaring Coordination Initiative began.

The ACR Task Force on Eldercaring Coordination was initiated in 2013, composed of twenty US and Canadian organizations (Appendix A). Their groundbreaking effort resulted in Guidelines for Eldercaring Coordination, unanimously approved by all twenty organizations in 2015. Working collaboratively and concurrently with the Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Task Force on Eldercaring Coordination, comprised of 20 statewide entities, the ACR Task Force was able to monitor how its broad framework could be applied to the needs of elders and families in a specific state. The intention of the Task Forces was to develop the tools essential to initiate and sustain Eldercaring Coordination Pilot Sites, defined as: a judge, judges or magistrates that would commit to referring at least six cases to eldercaring coordination, or a group of attorneys that would refer at least six cases through Agreed Orders. The Guidelines on Eldercaring Coordination provide Eldercaring Coordinator qualifications, ethical guidelines, grievance procedure, training protocols and Pilot Site template.

In just two years from the very first Task Force meeting, two Inaugural Eldercaring Coordination Trainings took place, one hosted by the Ohio Supreme Court and the other by the Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Thirty-six Eldercaring Coordinators (ECs) were trained, as well as several Pilot Site Administrators and Magistrates.  Immediately thereafter, five Pilot Sites were launched: Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Ohio and Minnesota, and within Florida alone, eight pilot sites were launched.  By the end of the year, the Task Forces transitioned into the ACR Elder Justice Initiative on Eldercaring Coordination (“Eldercaring Coordination Initiative”).

The driving force of the Eldercaring Coordination Initiative has been the strength of conviction of the Pilot Site Judges, Magistrates, Pilot Site Administrators, Eldercaring Coordinators and many others who have continued the dedication of the Task Force organizations to forward eldercaring coordination as a viable conflict resolution process for high conflict families regarding the care and safety of ageing persons. Pamela Teaster, Ph.D., Director of the Center of Gerontology, and Megan Dolbin-MacNab, Director of the Doctoral Program of Marriage and Family Therapy, both of Virginia Tech University, have donated countless hours to this project.  Both have been studying eldercaring coordination since the Inaugural Trainings in order to inform its development and promising practices.

pilot sites

ELDERCARING COORDINATION INITIATIVE OUTCOMES

  • Significantly fewer motions to the court, and when motions were filed they were more focused on legal, rather than nonlegal, issues
  • Reduction of family conflict, minimizing risks and abuse, neglect and exploitation, to respect and preserve the dignity and quality of life for aging persons
  • Fewer cases to determine guardianship and in which capacity needed final determination through the court, maintaining the dignity of the elder
  • Aging person and family can respond to issues quickly and privately through supported decision-making without having to wait for open dockets to address emotional, non-legal issues in court
  • Awareness and appreciation of elder mediation and the general need for conflict resolution options for elders and families
  • Recognition that high conflict in families is a health issue for elders
  • Continuous support of Eldercaring Coordination Pilot Sites and Eldercaring Coordinators provided through Eldercaring Coordination Initiative
  • Education and trainings provided locally, nationally and in Canada to increase awareness of Eldercaring Coordination
  • Presentations taking place during conferences of organizations with expressed missions specific to “children and families,” as well as those organizations regarding elders
  • Definition of “family” extended to reflect ONE family representing multiple generations, where the youngest benefit from the modeling of collaboration, understanding, tolerance and support as ageing loved ones reach their last chapters, leaving a legacy of peace to all those that follow

ASSOCIATED GRANTS AND FUNDING

  • Federal Grant/Elder Justice Innovation Grant/Administration for Community Living Federal Grant. Innovations in Community Living awarded to Spark County Ohio Court,
  • American Arbitration Association International Center for Dispute Resolution Foundation for Eldercaring Coordination Training Grant
  • StayWell/Well Care Medicaid/Medicare Health Plan Provider Eldercaring Coordination Scholarship Program

INTERNATIONAL INTERESTS

  • Churchill Fellowship sought by Dominique Horne, Family Consultant, Mediation and Counseling, Project Co-Ordinator, Victoria,  Australia
  • Funding sought by Richard Dening, Manager Adult Restorative Justice Conferencing, Dispute Resolution Branch, Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Queensland, Australia

cases referred

RESEARCH

  • Virginia Tech University: experts Pamela Teaster, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Gerontology and Megan Dolbin-McNab, Ph.D., Director of the Marriage and Family Doctoral Program: ongoing study of eldercaring coordination to inform the development of best practices
  • University of Toronto initiating research: Michael Saini, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
  • Sarah Gross, J.D., Pepperdine School of Law, Strauss Institute LL.M. Candidate 2018

ELDERCARING COORDINATORS TRAINING

  • Hosted by Supreme Court of Ohio, Columbus, Ohio: 2015, 2016
  • Hosted by Florida Chapter of AFCC, Orlando, Florida: 2015
  • Next generation of training was improved through the integration of research and feedback of participants both at the training and after professional experience with the process
  • Eldercaring Coordination Initiative Hosted three Continuing Education for Eldercaring Coordinators WEBINARS between 2017 and 2018

ELDERCARING COORDINATION INITIATIVE OUTCOMES

  • Significantly fewer motions to the court, and when motions were filed they were more focused on legal, rather than nonlegal, issues
  • Reduction of risks and decrease in safety issues of elders
  • Fewer cases to determine guardianship and in which capacity needed final determination through the court
  • Awareness and appreciation of elder mediation and the general need for conflict resolution options for elders and families
  • Recognition that high conflict in families is a health issue for elders
  • Continuous support of Eldercaring Coordination Pilot Sites and Eldercaring Coordinators provided through Eldercaring Coordination Initiative
  • Education and trainings provided locally, nationally and in Canada to increase awareness of Eldercaring Coordination
  • Presentations taking place during conferences of organizations with expressed missions specific to “children and families,” as well as those organizations regarding elders
  • Definition of “family” extended to reflect ONE family representing multiple generations, where the youngest benefit from the modeling of collaboration, understanding, tolerance and support as ageing loved ones reach their last chapters, leaving a legacy of peace to all those that follow

LINK TO ELDERCARINGCOORDINATIONFL.ORGEldercaring Coordinator Maria Schlafke created and launched the Florida website hosting information about eldercaring coordination, included a login portion specifically for Eldercaring Coordinators and Pilot Site Administrators, Judge and Magistrates.

DEPARTMENT OF ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES

The Florida Department of Children and Families developed forms and protocols for the identification of families for eldercaring coordination and links to court orders.

COLLABORATIONS

  • American Arbitration Association Foundation
  • Dispute Resolution Center, Supreme Court of Ohio
  • Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers
  • Florida Department of Adult Protective Services
  • Florida Legal Aid
  • Florida Office of Public and Private Guardians, Department of Elder Affairs
  • Florida Office of the Attorney General
  • National Adult Protective Services Association
  • National Clearinghouse for Abuse in Later Life
  • Ontario Bar Association, Elder Section
  • Pepperdine School of Law, Strauss Institute
  • Shepard Broad College of Law, Nova University
  • StayWell/Well Care Health Plan Provider
  • Stetson University College of Law
  • Virginia Tech University, Center for Gerontology and Doctoral Program on Marriage and Family Therapy

CONFERENCES, PRESENTATIONS AND EVENTS

    International Event:

  • United Nations: Presented Eldercaring Coordination at World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, New York, June 14, 2018

    International Conferences:

  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Conferences, yearly from 2015-2018,
  • Association for Conflict Resolution 2014-15; 2017-18
  • Avant Touts, Les Enfant/Children Now 9th International Symposium. Montreal, Canada, Montreal, 2018
  • International Federation on Ageing Global Conference, Toronto, August 2018 (Symposium/Workshop)

    United States Presentations and events: 

  • American Bar Association Elder Law and Aging Annual Conference, Plenary Session, 2018
  • National Association for Social Workers Southern District Conference 2018
  • American Society on Aging Annual Conference 2017
  • International Association of Collaborative Professionals 2017
  • National Adult Protective Services Association, 2017
  • National College of Probate Judges 2017
  • American Bar Association Senior Lawyers Section 2017
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys 2016
  • American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section Miami 2016

Webinars:

  • American Society on Aging 2017
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts 2017

    Statewide Conferences and Trainings:

  • Ohio Dispute Resolution Conference 2018
  • Ohio Judges Training 2018
  • Idaho Guardianship Court Coordinators Training 2018
  • Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, yearly from 2015-2018
  • Florida State Guardianship Conferences 2015, 2017, 2018
  • Florida Circuit Judges Conference 2014-15, 2017
  • Florida Dispute Resolution Conference 2014, 2016
  • Wisconsin Attorney General’s Task Force on Elder Abuse, 2018

Local Programs:

Presentations have occurred locally in Pilot Site states including judges and court staff trainings, local Bar Associations, Public and Professional Guardianship Organizations, government committees, nursing homes and independent living facilities, faith-based institutions.

SPREADING THE WORD!

Articles Appearing in National Publications:

Family Court Review, 2015

Conflict Resolution Quarterly 2015

BiFocal, Journal of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging 2015

Experience, American Bar Association, 2015, 2017

NASW News, National Association for Social Work, 2015

Aging Today, American Society on Aging, 2016

Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 2016

National College of Probate Judges, 2017

National Association of Elder Law Attorneys, 2018

“Friendly Passages” News Letter for the Rupert J. Smith Law Library

Statewide News:

Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Task Force Newsletter 2017, 2018

Office of the State Court Administrator Final Friday Communique 2018

Florida Central Region Adult Protective Services Newsletter 2017

The Neutral, Florida Dispute Resolution Center 2016, 2017

CantonRep.com, Connecting Stark County 2016

Florida Bar News 2016

Florida Psychological Association 2016

Court News Ohio 2015

Florida Daily Business Review 2015

Herald Tribune Sarasota 2015

NOTEWORTHY LINKS

ELDERCARING COORDINATION INFRASTRUCTURE AND SUPPORT

  • Pilot Site and Eldercaring Coordinator meetings have each taken place monthly to provide support, consultation, improvements and meet the challenges intrinsic to initiating change to existing systems, even when needed
  • Trainings to increase awareness of eldercaring coordination
  • Webinars to provide ongoing training for eldercaring coordinators
  • Judges, Magistrates and Pilot Site Administrator trainings
  • Ongoing reassessment of forms and procedures to enhance the eldercaring coordination process and Pilot Site administration

For more information check out the Eldercaring Initiative Page or contact the Elder Justice Initiative on Eldercaring Coordination Co-Chairs:

Linda Fieldstone, M.Ed. | Tel.: 305-206-8445 | LindaFieldstone@outlook.com

Sue Bronson, LCSW | Tel.: 414-841-8889 | SBronson@wi.rr.com

Judge Michelle Morley | Tel.: 352-569-6960 | MMorley@circuit5.org

2018-08-08T10:50:25+00:00August 8th, 2018|Eldercaring Initiative, Elders, Newsletter|

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