Financial Abuse Team Captures National Honor
August 30, 2019
San Rafael, CA – Marin is one of the best counties in the nation at preventing older residents from being financially hoodwinked by nefarious characters.
The Marin County Aging and Adult Services (AAS) Office announced that theCounty’s Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST) has been honored with a 2019 Aging Achievement Award by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging[External] (n4a). The Marin FAST was among 48 aging programs around the country to be recognized at n4a’s recent 2019 Annual Conference & Tradeshow in New Orleans.The 2019 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards[External] recognize aging programs that develop and implement cutting-edge approaches in their services to older adults, people with disabilities, and their family caregivers. Among the selection criteria was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in their communities.
The team includes 20 volunteers with expertise in accounting, law, business, and banking. Members provide community education as well as training and consultation to organizations on recognizing, investigating, stopping and preventing elder financial abuse. The FAST team also serves as financial experts, helping to uncover and document financial abuse. The team partners with the District Attorney’s Office, the County Sheriff’s Office, and local police departments to track and prosecute.
In 2018, the FAST team handled 28 cases. The team conducts ongoing outreach to law enforcement agencies to garner more cases. Since 2015, the FAST team has given 81 educational sessions to professionals and the public.
“In Marin County and across the nation, financial abuse of older adults is on the rise and has become a significant elder justice issue,” said Marin County’s Public Guardian Mark Vanderscoff, who chairs the FAST team. “Marin County is fortunate to have a dedicated team of volunteers who work with our community partners to educate the public about financial abuse and assist in referring for prosecution those who seek to profit from preying upon this vulnerable group of our community.”
Marin AAS acts as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for Marin County, under a framework and funding put forth in the Older Americans and Older Californians Acts. The AAA is the leading planner, administrator, and funder of services for persons over 60 and family caregivers in Marin.