On July 23, the City Council passed three bills that were the result of Councilman Paul A. Vallone’s six-month-long senior task force that was convened with the goal to protect seniors and reform Adult Protective Services (APS) in New York City. The task force also tackled the ever-growing concern of elder abuse in our city, especially the financial predatory tactics often used against our vulnerable senior population. The bills and resolution passed by the City Council are the first step to expand our senior safety net and will do the following:
Require the HRA to conduct biannual training for employees of the Department for the Aging (DFTA) and several other city agencies regarding the best practices in identifying individuals who may be eligible for APS services and how to properly make referrals to APS.
Require the Department of Social Services to provide semiannual reports to the council regarding referrals to Adult Protective Services. These new procedures, training and guidelines will enhance and support APS as they face overwhelming demand, overworked case managers and limited resources.
“After spending two decades as an attorney working hand in hand with the judicial system, hospitals, healthcare providers and clients for those in greatest need during guardianship proceedings, I was determined to address the growing crisis facing APS,” stated Councilman Vallone, Chair of the Subcommittee on Senior Centers. “The additional training required by my bill, coupled with the improved data regarding referrals to APS we will receive, thanks to Council Member Levin’s bill, will go a long way toward protecting and assisting our seniors and those most vulnerable and in need.
“Also, our call on Albany to address elder abuse and financial exploitation was sorely needed, as so many of our seniors are devastated by financial abuse. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to improve the social safety net for seniors who deserve the best from our city.”