Elder law center hosts training on elder abuse with Florida Department of Children and Families

The Center for Excellence in Elder Law recently completed a four-month training program with the Florida Department of Children and Families Suncoast Regions adult protective service investigators on June 1-2 at the Tampa Law Center.

Professor Roberta Flowers co-directs Stetson's elder law center.

Professor Roberta Flowers co-directs Stetson’s elder law center.

Approximately 70 adult protective service investigators from Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Lee, Glades, Collier, Charlotte, and Hendry Counties completed the training.

Training program attendees had an opportunity to improve the knowledge base and skills that they use on a day-to-day basis while investigating allegations of elder abuse in the greater Tampa Bay area.

Professor Roberta Flowers conducted training at the Tampa Law Center.

Professor Roberta Flowers conducted training at the Tampa Law Center.

The first of the three-phase program began in February with a live training session at the Tampa Law Center.  Topics covered included interviewing clients with dementia, writing effective reports, investigating with an eye towards prosecution, and civil guardianship law.  The second phase of the program included a series of five video lectures that the investigators watched at their monthly staff meetings that covered topics such as reviewing medical records, addiction in the elderly, self-neglect, powers of attorney and working with elder law attorneys.  The third and final phase of the training was a live skills training day where the investigators honed their interviewing and testifying skills.

After attending lectures by Stetson professors Roberta Flowers and Kelly Feeley, the investigators broke into small groups led by some of the region’s best trial attorneys where they applied newly learned techniques through mock client interviews and testifying at a mock trial.

Speakers included professors Kirsten Davis, Feeley and Flowers; Judge David Demers; St. Petersburg College Policy Ethics and Legal Studies Dean Susan Demers; ASA Julia Metts; attorneys Bob Biasatti, David Blum, Jeff Brown, Patricia Calhoun, Christopher DeCarlo, Jay Hebert, Dominique Heller, Steve Hitchcock and Shirin Vesely; Director of Education at University of South Florida Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute Eileen Poiley; and Elder Consumer Protection Fellow Brandon Robinson.

Professor Roberta Flowers, co-director of the Center for Excellence in Elder Law, designed the APS investigator training program, which was fully funded by a grant from the Joy McCann Foundation.

“The Center for Excellence in Elder Law would like to extend an enormous thank you to the Joy McCann Foundation for supporting this worthy project, and to the many doctors, attorneys, academics, and APS supervisors who donated their most precious resources, their time and knowledge, to make this program a resounding success,” said Robinson.