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June 01, 2015

New Grant Awarded by Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders

(The pdf for the issue in which this article appears is available for download: (Bifocal, Vol. 36, Issue 5).)


Project will develop model civil statutes to combat elder financial exploitation

The Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders announced on June 15, 2015, that it has awarded a $50,000 grant to develop model civil statutes to address elder financial exploitation.

Commenting on the grant, Ian Clark Devine, advisor to the Fund, said: “Civil courts can be an effective way for victims of financial exploitation to seek justice, recover assets and rebuild their lives. The Clark Family believes that developing model civil statutes is the fastest way to help the greatest number of elderly victims.”

The project will be managed by the National Center for Victims of Crime under the guidance of Executive Director Mai Fernandez. Lori Stiegel of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging will serve as a consultant on the project. Ms. Stiegel, a senior attorney, joined the ABA Commission in 1989 and has developed and directed its work on elder abuse.

“Creating a template of civil statutory provisions for elder financial exploitation is a short- term, innovative project that can have a lasting impact,” Ms. Fernandez said. “It can give attorneys an effective tool for pursuing civil cases and provide victims with the greatest chance to recover stolen assets. We welcome the support of the Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders on this important project.”

The announcement of the grant took place at the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Global Summit in Washington, DC, on June 15. The summit brought together for the first time leaders from 31 organizations around the world to discuss strategies for combating elder abuse. The event was convened by the National Adult Protective Services Association, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and was sponsored by AARP and the Western Union Global Consumer Protection Program.

About the Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders

Established in 2013, the Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders is a donor advised fund created by members of the Clark Family to honor their late aunt, Huguette Clark, who was victimized by her caregivers for more than two decades. The Fund supports innovative organizations and programs that seek new strategies to fight the financial abuse of elders, which frequently includes emotional and psychological manipulation by the professionals and institutions entrusted with their care.

The Clark Family seeks to make grants to organizations that address immediate needs overlooked by traditional programs, or develop effective models to fight elder abuse that can be replicated nationwide. To date, the Fund’s first three grants provided financial support for programs to train Adult Protective Service workers, to help banks implement federal guidelines for sharing customer information with investigatory agencies in cases of suspected financial exploitation of the elderly, and convened a roundtable of national specialists to formulate specific proposals to prevent elder abuse.

This article was prepared by the Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders.