by Shoshanna Ehrlich
In May ACL/AoA announced the recipients of its Model Approaches Cooperative Agreements. The awards were made in two categories: Phase I for those states that had not received Model Approach funding previously, and Phase II for those states that had completed a cycle of Model Approaches. The Phase I Model Approaches program is geared to utilizing the leadership of the State Legal Assistance Developer and key project partners to create and maintain a coordinated, well integrated, and cost-effective statewide legal service delivery systems including the integration of a senior legal helpline with Title III-B legal services, other low-cost mechanisms and the broader aging network. All the recipients are required to undertake various projects, including conducting an assessment of senior legal needs and a capacity assessment of the legal services system for seniors as well as developing plans to target seniors most in need. The strategies for enhancing the legal system will, of course, be shaped by the results of the legal needs and system capacity assessments and consultation with stakeholders.
A key objective of this grant program includes incorporating Senior Legal Hotlines and other low-cost mechanisms into the state’s legal service delivery system. In this article, we want to share a snapshot of the legal services delivery system for seniors currently in place in the Phase I states (OK, OR, MT, and WA) and highlight their plans for how the delivery system will incorporate Senior Legal Hotlines or other mechanisms into their overall delivery systems.