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Partnering with Faith Communities to Provide Elder Fraud Prevention, Intervention, and Victim Services

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2006
8 pages
Publication Series
This report highlights the innovative collaboration between the Denver district attorney's office and more than 200 faith community partners in Denver in the prevention and intervention of elder fraud and lessons learned that may be beneficial to other communities across the country interested in developing similar initiatives.
Results by the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service (CSU) of the Communities Against Senior Exploitation (CASE) Partnership indicate that CASE used research and innovative strategies, effectively reached older adults, were innovative in reaching goals, provided followup reinforcement, successfully reached different cultures, and established a network to prevent or report fraud. In addition, lessons learned as to what worked and what did not work is presented. Highlights of lessons learned, specifically what worked include: (1) having measurable goals; (2) having a project director and outreach specialist; (3) using a variety of marketing methods and contacts to reach clergy and lay leaders; (4) moving toward one-on-one partner recruiting rather than clergy trainings; (5) inviting a victim of elder financial exploitation to share their story at clergy trainings; and (6) asking the clergy and lay leaders to sign partnership commitment forms. What did not work was minimal but included: mailing invitations to clergy, calling directly on minority communities without adequately building bridges through key persons from these communities, and marketing the formal 3-hour clergy seminars to those who were more skeptical. The CASE Partnership, developed by the Denver district attorney's office with Federal support from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, addresses the problem of elder fraud. The partnership was funded between the district attorney's office and specific faith-based organizations to provide community-based services for elder financial fraud prevention, intervention, reporting, and victim support. CSU staff conducted an evaluation process to measure the effectiveness of the CASE Partnership in addressing the issue of elder fraud in Denver. Survey evaluation instruments were designed to determine the level of awareness and knowledge gained related to fraud, changes in behavior for avoiding fraudulent situations, and changes in financial fraud detection and reporting.

Date Published: April 1, 2006