Marian Liu, Professor

Closed (1) Moving Towards Uniform Statewide Reporting: Evaluating California Adult Protective Services’ Readiness to Participate in the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System

Applications for Spring 2018 are now closed for this project.

In California, the Adult Protective Services (APS) program is responsible for investigating reports of abuse, exploitation, and neglect among older adults and adults over the age of 18 with physical or mental disabilities. In addition to their investigative responsibilities, APS caseworkers are responsible for assessing clients’ need for services and collaborating with informal and formal support networks to provide preventive and supportive services. The goal is to maintain clients’ independence to live in the community and avoid abuse. With the growth of the older adult population, the number of elder abuse victims is rising.

In 2010, the Elder Justice Act was signed into law as part of the Affordable Care Act. As part of this legislation, the National Center on Elder Abuse was established, and recommendations were subsequently made by the agency to provide services and advance research agendas. Among the recommendations, one of the top priorities is to develop a national APS data system. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is leading the initiative and developed the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS) in collaboration with stakeholders such as the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA).

California should be one of the states participating in this nationwide movement. California has the highest number of elder abuse reports, approximately 15% of all reports in the country. In fiscal year 2013-2014, 127,000 new reports were made to the 58 APS programs in California. Additionally, California and Texas have the highest number of confirmed reports, also called substantiated cases, when abuse or neglect was found during APS investigation. Clearly, California’s APS programs are important in providing remedies to abused and neglected older adults. Given the sheer volume of older adults that the state is serving through the APS program, California’s data has the potential to help APS programs, researchers, as well as policymakers to improve services for victims of elder abuse.

In California, APS is a county-run program with data tracked at the local level. This means that each of the 58 counties operate their APS program independently. Each individual county’s capacity to participate in a statewide data tracking system is unknown. Determining this readiness is an essential step in moving California forward towards the compliance of the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS).

Currently, each county maintains a separate data system, but all programs are required to send monthly updates using the SOC 242 form to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). The SOC 242 form tracks the number of reports and substantiated cases of abuse by type. This data is then used to inform our understanding of the prevalence of elder abuse in California. However, the SOC 242 form only tracks high-level aggregated data and does not provide any information on the victims or those committing the abuse. The form also does not provide any details about the victim-abuser relationship, or the context of the abuse, neglect, or exploitation. These deficiencies are descried in more detail below.

The proposed study aims to identify what data fields each county APS program in California is currently collecting that is above and beyond the limited data reported in the SOC 242 form. Additionally, this study will gather county APS’ input regarding current and future data collection practices and needs. Interviews will be conducted with APS program administrators from across the state with the goal of laying out a roadmap for moving towards full participation with the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System (NAMRS).

In the Fall 2017 semester we will be analyzing the interview data and conducting interviews with other stakeholders in California and nationwide.

1) Candidate will assist researchers in summarizing and coding qualitative transcripts from APS interviews: Reviewing output from Dedoose, including frequencies, and finding themes. Summarizing results into both narrative and table formats for policy briefs and academic populations.
2) Candidate will assist researchers in creating new interview guide for upcoming interviews and participate in the interviews if available.
3) Establish Qualtrics survey for new data collection.
4) Create power point presentations of final results.
5) Copy edit reports and briefs.
6) Review literature on APS practice, training, and related topics in elder abuse.

Qualifications: 1) Motivated and mature student, preferably with an interest in gerontology, elder abuse research, or/and APS; 2) Proficient with Microsoft Excel, Word, Power Point; 3) Writing skills, previous experience in summarizing qualitative or quantitative analysis is not required but preferred; 4) Previous experience in with reference management software such as Mendeley is not required but preferred; 5) Previous experience with Dedoose or Qualtrics is not required but preferred. 6) We are looking for someone with organizational skills and attention to detail who can devote approximately 8 hours per week.

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: 2140 Shattuck Avenue, 11th Floor (Corner of Shattuck and Center Berkeley, CA)

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