University of Delaware
Karen F. Stein has been given the 2015 Rosalie S. Wolf Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Professional Service to the field of Elder Justice and Elder Abuse Prevention.

Elder justice service honored

Karen Stein honored with Rosalie S. Wolf Memorial Award

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9:15 a.m., March 21, 2016--Karen F. Stein, associate professor in the University of Delaware’s School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) and program director for the organizational and community leadership undergraduate major, has been given the 2015 Rosalie S. Wolf Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Professional Service to the field of Elder Justice and Elder Abuse Prevention.

The award is selected and presented by the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA), and will be presented at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America to be held in November in New Orleans.

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The Rosalie S. Wolf Memorial Award was established by NCPEA in 2002 to commemorate the achievements of Wolf, a driving force in the field of elder abuse prevention, advocacy and scholarship. 

Wolf founded and presided over NCPEA and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA), founded and edited the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect (JEAN), and conducted groundbreaking research on elder abuse. 

The award is presented to an individual or organization who has demonstrated dedication and commitment to the ideals of Wolf to prevent and reduce the incidence of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation, and to promote awareness through research, education, policy, and/or practice.

Stein has long been an advocate for older and vulnerable adults. One of the first people to recognize elder abuse as a universal threat to healthy and successful aging, she has worked on state and local, national and international initiatives to raise awareness of elder abuse, to promote and disseminate a rigorous body of research, and to promote evidence-based training as well as program and practice evaluation for aging services.

From 1986-88, she was co-investigator of one of the first Title IV demonstration projects that developed educational materials, training manuals and videotapes on elder abuse identification and prevention for social workers, law enforcement, health professionals and caregivers. 

In 1988, she became the principal investigator of the University of Delaware's Clearinghouse on Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly (CANE), a component of the National Center on Elder Abuse (then NARCEA) until 2011. CANE, a freely accessible and interactive online database, is the largest indexing of research, peer-reviewed literature and other materials on elder mistreatment and related issues. 

From 2007-11, she served as principal investigator for NCEA’s co-management and public awareness functions which resulted in the first strategic, nationally coordinated elder abuse awareness campaign, Join Us in the Fight Against Elder Abuse. 

Stein has published more than 20 articles, book chapters and monographs, presented papers at more than 35 national and international conferences and professional meetings, is a former participant in the White House Conference on Aging, and has served on a number of national advisory boards of organizations conducting elder abuse projects.

She has served on the Expert Panel on Elder Abuse Training and Technical Assistance Needs of the National Eldercare Institute on Elder Abuse; the National Advisory Committee of the Police Executive Research Forum Training Project; the National Advisory Committee of the Victim Services Elder Abuse Training Project; and the National Advisory Committee of the National Eldercare Institute on Elder Abuse and State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.  

Stein developed the first elder abuse national research panel forum in the U.S. that resulted in a national agenda for elder abuse and neglect research, which emphasized the need for an interplay between research and training.

As UD’s founding director of educational assessment, Stein is well-versed in all areas of outcomes assessment, and has presented on this topic at numerous aging-related conferences. She is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect.

Stein will also be presenting a keynote at the first regional conference on Elder Abuse and Exploitation at UD on May 12. The conference is intended to help professionals, advocates and community members better understand elder abuse and to take responsible actions. Stein is encouraging students to make video submissions to attend the conference for free. For details, see the video.

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