- Probate and Family Court
- Executive Office of the Trial Court
- Massachusetts Court System
Media Contact for Massachusetts Trial Court Selected to Receive Elder Justice Innovation Grant
Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago
BOSTON, MA — Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey and Court Administrator John Bello today announced that the Trial Court was one of only seven court systems selected to receive a national Elder Justice Innovation Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living.
The Probate and Family Court will use the two-year federal grant of just under $1 million to create a statewide Office of Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship Oversight. This office will increase court oversight of guardians/conservators and guardian/conservator arrangements to protect adults aged 60 and older and adults with disabilities from abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect.
The new Office of Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship Oversight will serve an increasingly aging population in Massachusetts. According to the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging at the Gerontology Institute, in 2019, 19% of Massachusetts residents were aged 60 or older; by 2030 that demographic is expected to grow by 28%.
“This grant provides the Trial Court with a tremendous opportunity to improve the quality of life for our most vulnerable senior citizens,” said Trial Court Chief Justice Carey. “Our courts are committed to building best practices for a growing elderly population and anticipating their particular needs.”
“The need for guardians, conservators, or surrogate decision-makers will only increase,” said Probate and Family Court Chief Justice John Casey. “This initiative will expand on the work done since the implementation of the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code and the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act.”
“This project will involve significant collaboration by the Trial Court and a wide range of community stakeholders to develop data and build an evidence-based model for oversight,” said Trial Court Administrator John Bello. “Fifteen community organizations provided letters of support for this project which made clear the strong level of interest and support.