Stopping Adult Financial Exploitation (SAFE)

CDEL's newest program seeks to address the growing problem of adult financial abuse.  Started through an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Elder Justice Legal Fellowship, CDEL's Stopping Adult Financial Exploitation (SAFE) program provides direct representation to seniors who have been victimized by adult financial abuse.  Through the SAFE program CDEL also provides outreach presentations and community engagement to increase awareness of this growing problem.

The SAFE program has three key components:

  • We provide high quality legal services to older adults who have been victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation.  

  • We create and support multidisciplinary teams of social workers, medical professionals, legal professionals, and law enforcement.

  • We work with community-based partners to conduct significant outreach, including “know-your-rights” presentations about adult financial exploitation and advance directives/powers of attorney, in order to educate seniors and professionals in the community about how seniors can protect themselves and avoid exploitation.

  • Our SAFE program represents people who have been victimized by false friends.  For example, we recently filed suit for a woman who lost over $280,000 to neighbors who befriended her after the death of her husband.  They began by offering assistance in mundane tasks and, after tricking her into trusting them, ultimately wiped out all of her savings.  Without a pro bono program like SAFE, many people would go without legal assistance because of the complexity and cost of pursuing legal remedies for this type of legal matter.

For more information, or to schedule a presentation at your community center, please call (312) 376-1880 ext. 404.