ABOUT US > Mission and History

Our Mission

Minnesota Elder Justice Center’s mission is to alleviate and prevent the abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of older or vulnerable adults.

Our Vision

Minnesota Elder Justice Center is a trusted resource that improves lives, communities, and systems with and on behalf of elders and vulnerable adults.

Our  Values

Diversity, Equity and & Inclusion (DEI): We model the fair treatment and full participation of all people, especially persons who have historically been underrepresented or subject to discrimination on the basis of identity or ability.

Excellence: We are committed, knowledgeable, curious, and creative in all our work.

Innovation: We are a learning organization that is willing to question the status quo, create novel solutions and strategies, and take risks to achieve our mission.

Integrity: We practice intellectual rigor and ethical behavior, transparency, and accountability to our many diverse stakeholders while staying true to our mission and equity framework.

Justice: We seek justice with and for older adults and vulnerable adults who have experienced abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

Openhearted Collaboration: We are committed to being inclusive in creating and participating in partnerships that improve the lives of Minnesota’s older and vulnerable adults.

Responsive Service: We minimize barriers to service and focus on the well-being of older and vulnerable adults. We are respectful, relevant, and responsive.

Guiding Principles

  1. Older adults and vulnerable adults provide a rich history of life experiences that should be honored and respected.
  2. Freedom from abuse, neglect and financial exploitation are fundamental rights.
  3. Older adults, vulnerable adults and their families deserve information about their rights and choices.
  4. Abuse, neglect and exploitation of older and vulnerable adults are private tragedies with public consequences.
  5. Collaboration and partnerships with key stakeholders are essential to preventing and alleviating abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of older and vulnerable adults.
  6. Collaboration between victim services and social services is necessary to reduce abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
  7. Supportive communities and families improve the quality of life for older and vulnerable adults.
  8. We acknowledge and must work with the tension that exists between protection and autonomy.
  9. The causes and solutions of abuse, neglect and exploitation are complex in scope and origin, because they are individual and systemic. Therefore, multidisciplinary, holistic solutions are needed.
  10. Our work is data driven and research based.

Our History

The Minnesota Elder Justice Center opened its doors on October 1, 2014, joining the work of the Vulnerable Adult Justice Project (VAJP) and MN S.A.F.E. Elders Initiative, into the Minnesota Elder Justice Center. The goal was to create a venue to accelerate work to prevent and alleviate the abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of older and vulnerable adults.

Vulnerable Adult Justice Project was founded in 2007 as a unique, statewide, interdisciplinary collaborative working to protect vulnerable and older adults through collaborative policy change efforts. The participants of the former VAJP remain partners of the Minnesota Elder Justice Center, and represent organizations and are broad and vary in their disciplines – prosecution, adult protection, domestic/sexual violence programs, medical and educational institutions, Dept. of Human Services and Dept. of Public Safety employees, criminal justice advocates, and more.

The Minnesota S.A.F.E. Elders Initiative was born in 2012 out of conversations between the Anoka County Attorney’s Office and leaders from the former Vulnerable Adult Justice Project to increase knowledge of elder abuse by the production of a Minnesota-focused educational toolkit and video. This group of professionals, including prosecutors, educators, law enforcement, experts on aging, financial advisors, and the medical community developed a toolkit for use throughout Minnesota to spot and reduce elder abuse. Central to the toolkit Elder Victims: Abused, Exploited, Alone, a 26- minute documentary created in partnership with Twin Cities Public Television.

In 2013, the decision was made to join forces and merge into a nonprofit organization – The Minnesota Elder Justice Center.