Our systems of response for cases of elder mistreatment in the community are insufficient throughout most of Canada. Similarly, our knowledge of effective interventions to support older adults who are at risk of or experiencing elder mistreatment is limited. The current project will implement and test RISE, a community-based elder mistreatment response program intervention that has demonstrated evidence. Informed by ecological-systems, relational, and client-centered perspectives, RISE is a community-based elder mistreatment intervention that integrates core modalities (motivational interviewing, restorative justice, teaming, supported decision making) demonstrating evidence and/or promising results with elder mistreatment cases and/or in other domains of family violence. The intervention operates at Relational, Individual, Social, and Environmental levels of ecological influence. Specifically, RISE works with both older adult victims and others, including alleged harmers, their relationships, and strengthens the social supports surrounding them. RISE began as a pilot in two counties of Maine and has now been scaled throughout the entire state working with over 450 cases. This project seeks to adapt, implement and evaluate rise in Toronto.

Community of Practice member:

David Burnes


Dr. Burnes is a Professor at University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. He holds a Canada Research Chair on Older Adult Mistreatment Prevention. He completed a PhD at Columbia University School of Social, concentrating in gerontology and advanced practice. Dr. Burnes’ program of research focuses on elder mistreatment (EM), including development of basic science (risk factors, prevalence, severity) and the design, evaluation, and measurement of interventions to prevent EM. He has advised major international organizations on EM, such as the World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health, as well as Canadian federal and provincial governments. Dr. Burnes has also advised non-profit organizations, such as state-level adult protective services programs, on the development and implementation of EM support programs. Dr. Burnes and colleagues developed “RISE”, a community-based EM response intervention currently used across the state of Maine and in initial stages of implementation and testing in Toronto.

Faculty Website: http://socialwork.utoronto.ca/profiles/david-burnes/

Publications: https://scholar.google.ca/citations?hl=en&user=NGAzETMAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate