Developing Tribal Elder Abuse Codes

National Indian Council on Aging Recommendations on Tribal Elder Abuse Codes

A tribal elder abuse code allows the tribe to establish tribal laws that protect elderly persons within the jurisdiction of the tribe from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. The codes provide identification and appropriate resolution of elder abuse, defining what agency receives and investigates suspected reports of abuse, and how elderly protection services are delivered.

When developing a Tribal Elder Abuse Code(s), it is essential that the code be created by each individual tribe rather than adopting a foreign code. Model codes are useful as examples, but tribes should embrace their sovereignty when creating their own. During development each tribe should incorporate their own tribal beliefs and values into the elder abuse code(s).

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