Elder abuse front-line service providers

BC Crime Prevention Association (BCCPA) developed train-the-trainer modules about Elder Abuse awareness and response for ongoing delivery to front-line service providers.

Project Objectives:

  • Develop a comprehensive, customizable train-the-trainer module to be delivered to frontline criminal justice practitioners and community professionals.
  • Integrate awareness of elder abuse into existing and new models of training for frontline police, criminal justice personnel and community professionals.
  • Disseminate tools to these groups so that they can further educate their respective community members about abuse of older adult populations.

Key Partners:

  • Policing and victim services partners in each community, BC Association of Community Response Networks (BCCRN) and other adult abuse specialists in the community, Fiore Group Training (to create training materials).

Activities:

  • Developed training PowerPoint, materials, and lesson plans
  • Hosted training sessions
  • Developed self-paced training module
  • Made resources accessible online

Outcomes:

  • Target audiences were policing, victim services and health sector personnel.
  • Introduced and enhanced awareness of abuse of older adults, and the respective roles of the service providers.
  • Introduced and promoted the availability of resources, both local and provincial.
  • Participants exchanged information about initiatives within their communities, and identified local challenges and opportunities to collaborate.
  • Engaged front-line crime prevention and victim services practitioners, volunteers, as well as health professionals.

Tools and Resources:

  • Self-study learning CD (under development) will provide organizations with a resource they can use to raise awareness, including links to other resources and information available across the province. The module consists of the PowerPoint deck of slides with voice-over audio, which can be used as part of a larger presentation, as stand alone or in conjunction with other presentations. The PowerPoint deck can be used as a Train-the-Trainer resource.
  • Various handouts were created to support the training that can also serve as one-page quick reference sheet for first-responders.

Lessons Learned:

  • The “Decision Tree for Effective Referrals”, developed by the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC, was shared. Many participants were both unaware of this document and unaware of the role the health authorities play as designated agencies who receive reports of abuse of older adults.
  • Training sessions in the north attracted a higher number of health care professionals.  This may demonstrate a need for additional training targeted and designed specifically for this sector.
  • Many participants attended the sessions with the intention to learn about solutions for cases they were involved in.
  • A full-day training session was considered to be too long. 
  • Many organizations lack the mandate to deliver training on this subject. BCCPA recognizes this as an opportunity to provide training designed to address issues faced by first responders.
  • An unexpected opportunity was for participants to strengthen their connections to resources within their communities. In several of the training locations, participants were able to put faces to the names and agencies. Networking opportunities were a value-added component of the training.

Challenges:

  • Participants wanted solutions for cases they were involved in. This was addressed by providing participants with information and resources (safety planning tools) for supporting at risk older adults. Ideas were exchanged to help participants support older adults they were assisting.
  • Others wanted a general overview to apply to cases they may encounter.
  • The training material was designed to be basic and generic, and the audiences’ expertise differed across the sessions. Project leads will develop an advanced training module to further develop the participants’ skills. It will include scenarios and potential steps that may be taken to address the situations.
  • Some participants felt that the full-day training session was too long. Project leads will produce a self-study CD with three 45 – 60 minute modules.

For Sustainability:

  • BCCPA will be developing a self-study CD, to be provided to each organization that participated and to all the BCCPA members.
  • BCCPA will be redeveloping its website to create a landing point where visitors can access links to existing resources to support in the response of this topic.
  • BCCPA will continue to apply for funding opportunities to allow for the continued delivery of the current basic training module and to further develop and deliver an advanced skills training module.
  • Through highlighting resources available, and providing an opportunity for local organizations to share details of their services, it is anticipated participants will continue to network and strengthen their partnerships.
  • Organizations and agencies need to come together to create a resource that could be easily used by frontline responders and support persons to guide them through recognizing abuse of older adults, and how each organization/agency can best support at risk and vulnerable older adults.