Guardianship Volunteers - Appointed Guardianship


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Volunteers.jpgClients in the Guardianship Program are adults who meet the legal definition for being incapacitated. They are unable to adequately feed, clothe, or shelter themselves due to a physical or mental condition. These clients need someone to be a friend, to watch over them, and to make sure they are receiving quality care. Volunteer Guardians are trained to assist staff case managers make decisions for the clients based upon the clients’ expressed wishes or that which is in their best interest.

Responsibilities

The Volunteer Guardian is responsible for the following items:

  • Consult with guardianship case managers before making major decisions;
  • Advocate for the needs of the client;
  • Monitor the quality of care received by the client;
  • Arrange for medical appointments;
  • Help make housing decisions;
  • Make regular and meaningful visits to the client, usually weekly;
  • Monitor the client’s financial and other resources.

Accountabilities

Volunteers in the Guardianship Program operate under the direction of the Tarrant County Probate Courts. GSI is named as the guardian in the “Letters of Guardianship.” The agency issues “Letters of Agency,” which authorize the volunteers and staff to act on behalf of GSI. Since GSI is named on the document issued by the Probate Court, GSI is responsible to the court for all actions taken under the guardianship authority.  Volunteers must report monthly to GSI regarding: changes in the client’s condition; activities with or on behalf of the client; problems the client is experiencing; and ways problems have been resolved. In addition, volunteers complete an annual report for the Probate Court.

Case managers are also accountable to the volunteers. When a volunteer is assigned a client, he or she is provided a phone number for the case manager. Staff members are available at all times to provide guidance and assistance to the volunteers. Case managers work closely with the volunteers to explore options and take actions that will be beneficial for the client and designed to protect the volunteer from liability.