Elder Abuse Identification and Response

The BC Association of Community Response Networks (BCCRN) used CREA project funding to train Community Response Network facilitators and community partners to use the University of Western Ontario’s ‘It’s Not Right’ Elder Abuse Identification and Response program in their communities. This training is now embedded into the BCCRNs province-wide.

Objectives:

  • BC CRN mentors will train and support local communities in delivering “It’s Not Right” workshops designed to educate and engage bystanders in elder abuse identification and response.
  • Build general public awareness and awareness among seniors about how to prevent, recognize and respond to elder abuse.

Key Partners:

  • Trainees or potential trainees: RCMP, Investors Group, Fraser Valley Library, Menno Lodge, Local CRN Members.

Activities:

  • Established an advisory committee.
  • Adapted existing materials and completed new materials.
  • Prepared and printed a Program Delivery Guide and Presenter’s Manual.
  • Delivered 28 INR workshops in communities around BC; First Nations often participated; Francophone CRN hosted a workshop (572 attendees).
  • Delivered presenters’ training events in the North, Vancouver Island, Tri-Cities and Vancouver, that included Spanish speakers, Downtown Eastside and community police (81 trainees).
  • Held monthly community of practice teleconferences with the organizing body and representatives from across Canada to discuss findings, challenges and successes.

Outcomes:

  • Presenters’ Training: Trainers have been trained to present INR workshops to community volunteers and people working in larger organizations who are interested in having ‘in-house’ trainers. 
  • The INR workshops are designed to engage bystanders, increase awareness about the signs of elder abuse, and empower individuals to take appropriate action. This is a nationally-recognized program. The trainees, once trained, receive a USB with the material and agree to collect metrics.

Tools and Resources:

  • All materials developed by the BC CRN are freely shared on the BC CRN website at www.bccrns.ca, with the exception of the videos, which accompany the INR training and are available only to those who have completed the training.

Lessons Learned:

  • The training is complicated, requiring approximately 8 hours, and the new trainer may still need support. 
  • As the program matures, there will be more experienced trainers, which will reduce the demand for extensive travel. 
  • A decision was made to form a provincial training team with mentor/trainers who were comfortable with and competent to deliver the material.  Several of the mentors showed a hesitancy to provide this training on their own.
  • Materials are being redesigned to address complexity.

Challenges:

  • Setting up and scheduling workshops was logistically challenging.
  • Occasional equipment malfunctions at venues.
  • Complexity of the forms, agreements and evaluation tools – under review.

For Sustainability:

  • The CREA grant helped to kick-start the project, which will now be embedded in general operations, funded primarily through the Ministry of Health. 
  • Training will be available to anyone who is interested, and materials will be available to those who have taken the training.
  • There are regular INR Presenter newsletters. The Team Leaders meet monthly with their mentors and discuss their progress and challenges. The mentors do the same thing with their coordinators.
  • The Management Team monitors the progress of the workshops throughout the province.
  • The workshops are part of the annual BCCRN evaluation which is measuring the effectiveness of developing abuse/neglect awareness at the community level, by offering these bystander engagement workshops.