Justice Department and the Corporation for National and Community Service Expand Their Partnership to Provide Legal Aid to Victims of Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation
Today, the Department of Justice, through its Elder Justice Initiative and its Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency which administers AmeriCorps and other national service programs, are announcing Elder Justice AmeriCorps, a new grant program to provide legal assistance and support services to victims of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation and to promote pro bono capacity building in the field. This effort will expand a partnership between the two agencies, which includes justice AmeriCorps, a legal aid program launched in 2014 by the Department of Justice and CNCS to serve vulnerable populations.
“The Department of Justice is committed to continuing to investigate and prosecute those who prey on our nation’s elders and to support and empower victims through programs like Elder Justice AmeriCorps,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “As a prosecutor I have seen firsthand the devastating emotional, financial and physical consequences of elder abuse and exploitation. Too often victims need legal assistance to help them address multiple issues, such as safe housing and medical care, but have trouble getting help at all, much less through one, comprehensive legal service provider. This innovative program will offer the holistic delivery of comprehensive legal services for elder abuse victims.”
“We are very pleased to be expanding our partnership with the Department of Justice to protect vulnerable populations,” said CEO Wendy Spencer of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “By harnessing the power of national service and encouraging a new generation of lawyers to assist victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation, we will raise awareness of and combat problems affecting millions of Americans each year.”
The Elder Justice AmeriCorps program, which is intended to complement existing Office for Victims of Crime grants to support the development of legal assistance networks providing comprehensive, pro bono legal services for victims of crime, will consist of a single grant to an intermediary organization that will support approximately 60 full-time AmeriCorps positions for each year of the two-year program. Interested applicants can review the Notice of Funding Opportunity at http://www.nationalservice.gov/build-your-capacity/grants/funding-opportunities/2016/americorps-state-and-national-grants-fy-2016#FGSAAA.
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The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund and other programs and leads President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit nationalservice.gov.
The Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative supports the Department’s law enforcement efforts against nursing homes and other long-term care providers that provide grossly substandard care to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and coordinates the department’s elder justice policy and programmatic efforts. For example, in September 2014, the Elder Justice Initiative launched the Elder Justice website, a resource for victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation and their families; practitioners who serve them; law enforcement agencies and prosecutors; and researchers seeking to understand and address this silent epidemic.
The Office for Victims of Crime administers the Crime Victims Fund. OVC channels funding for victim compensation and assistance throughout the United States, raises awareness about victims’ issues, promotes compliance with victims’ rights laws, supports innovative programming for crime victims, including federal crime victims and provides training, technical assistance and resources to practitioners who work with crime victims.