The NSW Interagency policy, Preventing and responding to abuse of older people (2015) replaces the 2007 NSW protocol on elder abuse which had adopted a ‘lead agency’ model. This change recognised a greater need for interagency cooperation state-wide in responding to different forms of abuse and the complexity and multi-dimensional nature of abuse which can make it difficult to determine the extent of the abuse. The NSW interagency policy states:
'Responsibility for interagency practice and cooperation should be articulated in service system agreements and regional protocols negotiated between respective support agencies and service providers in consultation with the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit (NSW EAHRU).'
Elder abuse collaboratives build relationships with key government and non-government agencies and support services to develop a state-wide response to the abuse of older people.
 Department of Family and Community Services (2015), Preventing and responding to abuse of older people, NSW interagency policy, p. 14
To work with other professionals to prevent, respond and react to the abuse of older people living in their own homes in the community by:
- Supporting the efforts of the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit via the distribution of resources and information to meet this purpose;
- Developing local resources and actions to prevent the abuse of older people across NSW;
- Ensuring inclusiveness of marginalised older people in these activities, e.g., culturally and linguistically diverse older people; older people with disabilities; geographically and socially isolated older people; Aboriginal and Torres Islander older people, LGBTI older people, and their families; and
- Continuing to be informed and educated about the social, political, gender, cultural and family dynamic issues that impact on older people and their safety in the community.
The NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit has developed the following outcomes for the elder abuse collaboratives:
- Local protocols and service agreements for responding to older people experiencing abuse to be developed and aligned with the NSW Interagency policy and communicated to members of the collaborative;
- Increased awareness of the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline and Resource Unit's role;
- Local staff capability to respond to elder abuse improved through to be increased awareness and education; and
- Resources and practices in responding to abuse of older people to be developed and shared.
Guide to establishing elder abuse collaboratives
The guide, developed by the NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit, will take you through the process of establishing an elder abuse collaborative.