Deborah Duggin, working with Alaska Legal Services Corporation had two primary goals: to provide statewide legal services to older adults who had experienced abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation; and to educate senior services providers, tribal organizations, legal sub-communities, legal aid staff, and older adult individuals on topics related to elder abuse and the services available through this program.
Alaska is home to a rapidly growing older adult population and those living in rural and Native Alaskan communities have very limited access to legal and social services. Older adults experiencing elder abuse in Alaska face extreme access issues in locations that are off the road system and often live in such interdependent communities were reporting abuse and seeking justice prove difficult.
During the one-year fellowship, Deborah Duggin:
- Was able to reestablish the connection with the Alaska Senior Activity Center and Alaska Legal Services Corporation, which had been interrupted by the Pandemic. As a result, several successful community outreach presentations were held with the Center and plans were put forward to once again have legal clinics held there.
- Was able to establish a long-standing relationship with the Inter-Agency Fraud Education Taskforce which connects multi government and private entities together to educate and understand current and past fraud threats that are being faced in the U.S.
- Helped several victims of elder abuse crimes by not only mitigating the financial damage done to them, but in a few cases, stop the financial abuse before significant financial damage was done.
Following this fellowship Deborah Duggin plans to continue working with Alaska Legal Services as a Staff Attorney located in Kenai, Alaska. While working with victims of elder abuse is still a passion for her, she is excited to expand her work to include all other members of her home community in her legal practice.