New provincial funding will benefit two B.C. nonprofits working to reduce and prevent abuse against elders and adults.
The BC Association of Community Response Networks (BC CRN) and the Council to Reduce Elder Abuse (CREA) have received more than $4.5 million in provincial dollars to “raise awareness and co-ordinated community responses to prevent abuse and neglect.”
“We know that the most effective way to make positive change happen in community is to bring the community leaders, service providers and volunteers together, and have them identify the issues and come up with their own unique solutions,” said Sherry Baker, executive director of BC CRN.
The BC CRN received $4.2 million in the form of a provincial grant to support Community Response Networks (CRNs) throughout B.C. for the next three years. There are 86 CRNs in more than 256 communities across the province, including the Kamloops Community Response Network that serves the Kamloops and Merritt areas. The networks bring seniors and community representatives together to c coordinate a community response to abuse, neglect and self-neglect of vulnerable adults.
The networks also spread awareness of elder abuse through a variety of local learning events, newsletters, informational workshops, projects, conferences, a website and referrals.
Baker noted that with the funding support from the provincial government, BC CRN mentors can support the development of a coordinated community response to the abuse, neglect and self-neglect of B.C.’s most vulnerable citizens. Her organization’s ultimate goal is to build safe communities together where adults are valued, respected and free from abuse and neglect.
“Seniors are vital to our society and it’s important that we treat them with the care and respect they deserve,” said Adrian Dix, B.C.’s Minister of Health. “Seniors often face isolation, which makes them more vulnerable to abuse.”
CREA received $300,000 in grant funding to “foster collaboration and coordination” while advancing the prevention of elder abuse. The organization will use the funding to share information and raise public awareness on topics such as abuse recognition, prevention, and response. The money will also support professional development and capacity-building throughout B.C.
“Responding to elder abuse begins with preventing it,” said Harwinder Sandhu, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors’ Services and Long-Term Care.
“It’s our responsibility to ensure seniors are protected now and in the future. Our partnership with the BC CRN will support awareness programs so that people in B.C. can better identify the signs of abuse and neglect, and prevent it altogether, to ensure seniors’ safety.”