Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky adult protection worker wins national award
A Madison County adult protective services worker was honored recently with a national award for her efforts to protect the elderly from abuse and neglect.
Tanda Dannelly, an employee of the Bluegrass Service Region of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, is the first recipient of the National Spirit of NAPSA (National Adult Protective Services Association) award, created to reward a frontline employee for initiative in developing and following through on an idea to improve adult protective services. Dannelly, a services clinician and investigator in the Department of Community Based Services, was selected from a group of nominees throughout the country.
Officials including DCBS Commissioner Tom Emberton Jr. and all service region administrators were present at Frankfort's Fairfield Inn for the award presentation. Emberton presented the award.
“Protecting the elderly, who are often vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, is a challenging task faced by social workers daily,” said Eugene Foster, CHFS undersecretary for children and family services. “This tremendous honor exemplifies the hard work and dedication of Ms. Dannelly. Her commitment and compassion are remarkable and have enhanced our services to protect the elder population.”
According to DCBS staff, Dannelly has worked to develop relationships with community partners, allowing for better collaboration on investigations, prevention activities and public awareness. In addition, she has facilitated training through Eastern Kentucky University’s Criminal Justice Academy on issues of adult and elder abuse and maltreatment and is currently working to educate law enforcement, bank personnel and attorneys on aspects of exploitation in the elder population.
She also was instrumental in the formation of a four-county coordinating council on elder abuse, the Counsel on Elder Maltreatment Prevention, which she has chaired for the past two years. This group has conducted workshops and forums on elder abuse and initiated several projects to increase community awareness.
On a statewide level, Dannelly has been a member of an elder abuse awareness task force and pushed for passage of legislation tos strengthened Kentucky’s adult protection statute.
Dannelly also is currently pursuing her master's degree in of social work at Spalding University.
NAPSA is an organization for adult protection administrators, directors, supervisors, program specialists, trainers, caseworkers and case aides.