April 2008 E-Newsletter

April 18, 2011


The tentacles of family violence and abuse can reach victims who are under the stewardship of a caregiver or conservator. And sometimes those conservators and caregivers themselves can be exposed to that very same danger.

All too often, dependent adults - whether they are elderly or have developmental disabilities - are the easy targets of physical and mental abuse or financial fraud. Many times, their tormentors are those who are the closest to them- their spouses, relatives, or roommates - and have access to their assets. When authorities and the courts intercede, a conservator or guardian may be appointed to take care of the dependent adult and his or her financial affairs.

But sometimes the abuse and harassment doesn't stop there. In fact, the scope of the abuser's wrath can widen to include conservators and guardians who, by making decisions in the best interests of the dependent adult, may be indirectly acting against the abuser's desires. Caregivers who are hired to assist dependent adults with daily household tasks can also be caught in this crossfire, experts say.

An effective first step toward ending the abuse is to obtain a restraining order to keep the abuser away and enable law enforcement to act decisively when urgent help is needed.

To protect dependent adults, conservators, and guardians caught in these circumstances, I have introduced two bills that make it easier and faster for them to obtain a restraining order.

  • Assembly Bill 171 - Strengthens the ability of probate court judges overseeing conservatorships to issue a restraining order on behalf of the conservatee, ward, guardian, or conservator.

  • Assembly Bill 225 - Allows dependent adults to obtain a single restraining order that protects not only themselves but other innocent people in their household or who are associated with it, such as caregivers. This change in the law would obviate the need for each individual to go to court to get their own restraining order.

Sadly, domestic and family violence continues to be a persistent problem in Santa Clara County. In 2007, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office prosecuted 1,649 felony and misdemeanor domestic violence cases, a 17 percent increase compared with 1,408 prosecutions in 2005. The office also prosecuted 59 cases of elder domestic violence from 2005 to 2007.

If you know of or suspect that a dependent adult is being abused, please contact your local police department, or call the Santa Clara County Department of Aging and Adult Protective Services abuse report line at (408) 975-4980 or (800) 414-2002.


Saturday, May 3
10 a.m. to 3:30p.m.
U.S. Bank
750 W. Hamilton Ave.

Empower your children - bring them to the safety fair where they can learn techniques to protect themselves.

The Stranger Danger Camp includes John Hull's Kids Escape! class that teaches abduction prevention and other life-saving tips on how to survive the unthinkable. This program helps dispel fear by teaching proactive strategies in a fun, non-threatening manner. The Stranger Danger Camp program will be presented at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.

The Safety Camp offers an array of information from local law enforcement, fire departments, and much more, including child identification kits.

For more information, please contact Melisa Wonch, field representative to Assemblymember Beall, at (408) 282-8920, or Greg LeCount, director of Recreation Plus, at glecount@recreationplus.org.


Saturday, May 17

10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Trinity Presbyterian Church
3151 Union Ave.
San Jose

With housing prices dropping across the country, the real estate market has suddenly become a buyer's market. Assemblymember Beall is holding the fair to help the prospective home-buying public understand what it takes to buy a home while avoiding purchasing pitfalls.

There will be workshops about first-time home buying and also on the various government programs that are available, including:

  • Dollars-and-Sense Home Ownership workshop conducted by the California Certified Public Accountants.
  • A foreclosure workshop - including credit counseling - will be held by the non-profit Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.

  • A presentation on the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program by the Santa Clara County Department of Housing.

The fair is one of many events throughout Santa Clara County and the rest of the nation marking May 12-19 as Affordable Housing Week. For more information please contact Frances Grammer, field representative to Assemblymember Beall, at (408) 282-8920.


Saturday, April 19

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Northern California Candidate Physical Ability Test Center
6723 Sierra Court, Suite G
Dublin, CA 94568

The recruitment fair is designed to help women who are considering careers in firefighting. The event is sponsored by the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee's Commission to Recruit Women for Fire Service.

Commission members will be available to answer questions about what requirements applicants must meet to become a firefighter. There will be recruitment booths sponsored by various fire departments, demonstrations of the physical ability test that applicants must pass, and displays of firefighting apparatus. In addition, there will be "A Day in the Life of a Firefighter" presentations.

Visit the commission's website, http://www.CFFJAC.org, for more information