Huguette Clark Foundation Awards Grant to the Family & Children's Association of Long Island

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Grant will support the innovative Strong Observant Seniors program to address the problem of elder exploitation.

"The SOS program has had a significant impact in its first year, and we are pleased to support its innovative approach, which we hope can serve as a model for other communities.”

The Huguette Clark Foundation announced today that it has awarded a $32,000 grant to the Family and Children’s Association (FCA) to support its Strong Observant Seniors (SOS) program, an innovative and proven project that is addressing the problem of elder exploitation in Nassau County.

The SOS program is a unique public-private partnership that brings together law enforcement personnel and case management specialists to help elderly victims of exploitation with counseling and restitution, while prosecuting those responsible.

In its pilot phase in 2018, the SOS program showed measurable and meaningful success, educating more than 800 care providers, law enforcement personnel and seniors about elder exploitation and providing direct assistance to more than 80 seniors who were victimized. In addition, the program identified 10 prosecutable cases of elder abuse. The grant from the Huguette Clark Foundation will enable the SOS program to build on this success and strengthen and expand its services.

Ian Clark Devine, president of the Huguette Clark Foundation, said: “From its inception, the Huguette Clark Foundation has supported advocacy, training and education programs to combat elder abuse, as well as efforts aimed at strengthening the civil and criminal justice processes to hold perpetrators responsible. The SOS program combines all these elements and has had a significant impact in its first year. We are pleased to support its innovative approach, which we hope can serve as a model for other communities.”

Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, President and CEO of FCA, said: “We are grateful for the support of the Huguette Clark Foundation, which has developed a reputation for funding innovative programs to address elder abuse, using relatively small, targeted grants to achieve outsized results. We look forward to working with them as the SOS program continues its growth.”

Lisa Stern, Assistant Vice President for Senior and Adult Services at FCA, said: “From our many years of experience, we have learned that elderly victims have a long journey to recovery. Ending the abuse and pursuing criminal prosecutions is only the beginning. The SOS program was designed to give counseling, support and guidance to seniors who have suffered abuse, and it made a strong impact in its first year. With this new funding, we can continue to work with our partners in law enforcement social services to serve vulnerable seniors in our community.”

The elderly and disabled are significantly at risk for a range of crimes. On Long Island, the self-reported rates for financial abuse were 44.9 per 1000 and 38 per 1000 for non-financial abuse, according to a study on elder abuse prevalence in New York State. Financial exploitation was the type of exploitation most commonly reported by respondents, and nearly half of the abusers were the victims’ adult children.

About the Huguette Clark Foundation

The Huguette Clark Foundation for Protection of Elders was created by members of the Clark family to honor their late aunt, Huguette Clark, who was victimized by her caregivers and advisors for more than two decades. The Foundation (huguetteclarkfoundation.org) supports innovative organizations and programs to fight the financial abuse of elders, addressing needs often overlooked by traditional programs. The Foundation’s strategy is to make targeted early-stage grants to develop programs that later can be scaled or replicated for broad impact. Grants are related to the abuse that Huguette Clark herself suffered, specifically the prevention of undue influence, manipulation and financial exploitation by institutions and professionals.

The Huguette Clark Foundation, a tax-exempt public charity, has awarded grants since 2013 to support innovative education and advocacy programs to combat elder exploitation. Earlier grants provided financial support for programs to train Adult Protective Service workers; help banks implement federal guidelines for sharing customer information with investigatory agencies in cases of suspected elder financial exploitation; and develop model civil statutes to help victims of financial exploitation seek justice, recover assets and rebuild their lives.

About FCA

FCA is a not-for-profit agency helping more than 30,000 Long Islanders each year. For more than 130 years, the organization has worked to protect and strengthen vulnerable children, seniors, families and communities on Long Island.

FCA believes in the potential of Long Island - a place where no child, senior, family or community is left to struggle alone with barriers to health care, education, employment or economic prosperity. Long Island continues to be one of the greatest place in the world to live and raise a family for many; FCA exists to ensure that be the case for all.

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Richard Mahony
Mahony Partners - For the Huguette Clark Foundation
+1 (917) 257-6811
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Lindsey Mastin
FCA
(516) 746-0350 1247
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