OPAN commissioned this independent review of the work of OPAN members in elder abuse with a view to informing future elder abuse advocacy, education and information, including through a national approach. The scope of the review was determined as involving:
Documentation of current practice in elder abuse advocacy services by OPAN members.
An analysis of Elder Abuse Advocacy models used by Aged Rights Advocacy Service (ARAS) in South Australia and Advocare Inc. in Western Australia including:
- Achievements and constraints of the current programs;
- Balance of investment across program outputs;
- Documenting relevant core skill sets for this work;
- Current and future data collection practices;
- Opportunities and options for improvement.
- Evidence of the effectiveness of selected elder abuse prevention programs across Australia and internationally from published and grey literature.
A high level summary of where OPAN elder abuse advocacy fits within the national context.
Based on models and findings, provision of indicative options and resourcing for a national model of elder abuse advocacy.
An overarching Framework was developed to guide the review. This was structured around a Program Logic approach. A copy of the Framework is provided in Appendix III. The Review has had a relatively short timeframe of seven weeks and the methodology was structured accordingly, involving these main components:
- A focused review of research on elder abuse studies, in particular any with findings on the effectiveness of interventions that address or prevent elder abuse.
- A review of OPAN organisations’ documentation (such as Annual Reports, service data) and of the key findings of major Inquiries, such as the Australian Law Reform Commission and State or Territory Parliamentary Inquiries into Elder Abuse and submissions from OPAN members to those Inquiries.
- Structured interviews with OPAN CEOs and staff designed to document current practice in relation to elder abuse. See Appendix 1 for details of the people interviewed.
- Detailed case studies analysing the models of ARAS and Advocare which each have been providing a specific elder abuse program for some time.
- Analysis of the wider elder abuse service landscape in Australia and OPAN’s place in that landscape, based on the review of documentation (described above) and structured interviews with managers of leading elder abuse services in the human services and community legal services sectors. See Appendix 1 for details of the people interviewed.
- Analysis of all findings against key review requirements.
- Reporting of findings.