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COLLATERAL DAMAGE: Elder Abuse and the Opioid Epidemic in Rural Virginia

Friday, August 14, 2020 - Free Webinar

Presented by

 Southwest Virginia Legal Aid

in collaboration with the

Southwest Virginia Elder Justice Task Force



Sponsored, in part, by the Virginia Law Foundation

Additional support provided by 

Virginia Coalition for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (VCPEA) and Anthem HealthKeepers Plus



4.0 CLE Credit Hours/live interactive for Attorneys

4.0 CLE Credits for Clerks

4.0 CLE Credits for Magistrates

4.0 GAL Credit Hours for Guardians ad Litem for incapacitated persons

PIC-3 Credits PENDING for Law Enforcement

10:00 am - 11:15 am - Session 1:
Welcome & Introductions, Joseph R. Carico, Esq., Executive Director, Southwest Virginia Legal Aid  
Setting the Stage for Abuse: Impacts of the Opioid Epidemic on Older Adults Dr. Pamela Teaster,
Director, Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology
Click here for Materials for this Session
No one group is immune from the opioid epidemic, but frequently forgotten are older adults. This presentation draws upon the sparse scientific and popular literature to explore the effects of opioids on the lives of older adults and their families. While opioids and related prescription/non-prescription drugs frequently are the treatment of choice for chronic health problems/pain, misuse can lead to a life of addiction for individuals in their “golden years,” fraught with emotional distress, diminished relationships, criminal activity, and even, premature death. A more hidden pathway in which opioids infiltrate older adult’s lives is through the addiction of family members who rely on them for money, childcare, food, and shelter. These older adults may be directly or inadvertently stripped of their resources and quality of life as a result of the struggles of those around them.
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm - Session 2:
Grandparents and Other Non-Parent Kinship Families: Legal Rights
Gerard Wallace, Esq., Program Director, New York State Kinship Navigator
Click here for Materials for this Session
The number of grandparent and relative caregivers raising children is increasing each year, and our understanding of how to support these caregivers continues to evolve. Legal services can play an important role in connecting non-parent caregivers to support and providing legal assistance.  Issues include:  what is the caregiver’s authority regarding schooling, medical care, access to documents; what are the “rights” of caregivers in third party custody and guardianship actions, in access to foster care, when “diverting” from foster care, etc. This Legal Basics training will provide law and aging network professionals with an overview of legal issues surrounding non-parent caregivers, including tools and initiatives to support families.

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm - Session 3:
Virginia’s Family First Initiative: Prioritizing Prevention Services and Family-Based Placements
Tiffany Gardner, Family First Project Manager, VA Department of Social Services
Lauren Weidner, Family First Change Management Specialist, VA Department of Social Services
Nancy Boyd, Kinship Navigator, Dickenson County Department of Social Services
Amanda Romans, Kinship Navigator, Smyth County Department of Social Services
Click here for Materials for this Session- Family First
Click here for Materials for this Session - Kinship Navigator
Participants will learn about Virginia’s Family First Initiative, including the role of the Kinship Navigator program and resources available to assist grandfamilies and other non-parent families across the Commonwealth. Of the six programs established statewide, two serve Southwest Virginia. Each program serves a multi-county area. In part two of this session, participants will have the opportunity to learn firsthand from regional navigators what services are available, who is eligible, and how to access assistance for these vulnerable families. 
Closing Remarks
Janet Brennend, Ombudsman, New River Valley Agency on Aging, Southwest Virginia Elder Justice Task Force
Daveena Sexton, Director of Advancement, Southwest Virginia Legal Aid
For the complete brochure from the training, please click here: EA20 Program Brochure



A First (and Disturbing) Look at the Relationship Between Opioid Epidemic and Elder Abuse: Insights of Human Service Professionals

Karen A Roberto, Pamela B. Teaster, Brian W. Lindberg, and Robert Blancato, Journal of Applied Gerontology 1-5, 2020



Videotaped Recording, Session 1


Videotaped Recording, Session 2

Videotaped Recording, Session 3