“A Multidisciplinary Approach to Elder Abuse”
The purpose of multidisciplinary teams is to improve coordination and cooperation among service providers and public safety organizations in combating elder and dependent adult abuse. Multidisciplinary teams are mandated by California Senate Bill 2199, and their composition and rules of confidentiality are set by the California Welfare and Institutions Code. In Riverside County, the multidisciplinary teams are called C.A.R.E. Teams and are coordinated by C.A.R.E Program staff. If your agency is interested in replicating a multidisciplinary team, as described below, follow the link to the section on C.A.R.E. Team/Program Formation.
There are three regional teams, made up of over 50 agencies which meet monthly in Rancho Mirage, Hemet, and Moreno Valley. Each team has more than 50 members with 35-60 in attendance at every meeting. Meeting agendas include a short training component, discussion and presentation of elder abuse cases, as well as, legislative updates and agency reports. Members sign agency commitment contracts, confidentiality statements, and mandated reporting agreements.
Members include representatives from all Law Enforcement jurisdictions, the District Attorney, FBI, Adult Services, Mental Health, Public Health, Public Guardian, Social Security, Office on Aging, Community Care Licensing, Ombudsman, Probate Investigations and other agencies involved in the treatment and prevention of elder abuse in Riverside County (Attachment 3). Team members share best practices to combat elder abuse and work together toward the protection of the client and prosecution of the offender under Penal Code 368, California’s elder abuse law.
Benefits of team membership include an improved understanding of each agency’s mandates and limitations, less duplication of services, a broader range of strategies and solutions to resolve cases, and improved cooperation among agencies. While recovery of assets can be measured in dollars, there is no real way to measure the overall benefit that the Teams have brought to the quality of life for our elderly clients in Riverside County. If you or your organization is interested in becoming a C.A.R.E. Team Member click here.