Earlier in the spring, many members of the public applauded the state of Georgia’s efforts related to elder abuse investigation and prevention. In April, the Georgia General Assembly — taking heed from Gov. Brian Kemp — agreed to add $1.2 million to the state’s Division of Aging Services to hire more caseworkers regarding adult protective services and guardianship matters.
For years, many members of the public have advocated for additional protections for the state’s most vulnerable residents: senior and adults with disabilities. This latest legislative move represents an attempt and signifies that state lawmakers remain aware of the elder abuse problem that may occur in private homes and care facilities. But will the funding be enough?
$1.2 million to hire 16 caseworkers
Gov. Kemp proposed that the state provide additional funding for staff to investigate abuse and monitor services related to the elderly. In following the governor’s lead, legislators passed a state budget with this significant item that will add 16 caseworkers to Georgia’s Division of Aging Services, an agency focused on identifying and addressing the needs of the state’s senior residents.
As a result of the assembly’s actions, the Division of Aging Services will receive:
- A total of $973,765 for hiring 13 caseworkers in adult protective services. These caseworkers remain responsible to investigate alleged incidents of abuse, neglect or exploitation of disabled and vulnerable seniors and adults
- A total of $231,226 for hiring three caseworkers to serve as public guardians. They will plan, oversee and monitor every service required for health and welfare matters regarding guardianship clients.
Such legislative action represents a step in the right direction. Although it remains a small step, it represents some progress for the thousands of Georgians who worry about their elderly and disabled loved ones and want to ensure that no one takes advantage of them.