How to be an Advocate
for Others in Need

So often, our guardianship clients are alone and unable to fully care for themselves. They might not realize they need help. Or, if they do, they have no idea where to turn for assistance.

At other times, they’re the victims of unscrupulous family members or caretakers who take advantage of them financially or in other ways.

It’s crucial for everyone to be familiar with the warning signs of at risk adults who may require guardianship, and to be vigilant in your neighborhood and in your own family.

If you know someone who may be at risk, please contact
Adult Protective Services.

Report Abuse

Help your neighbors

Perhaps there’s an elderly person on your street who you rarely see, or who never has visitors. Maybe it’s a neighbor or relative you believe is beginning to show the signs of dementia. Or, sadly, you might notice an acquaintance or relative that might be financially exploiting an elderly or incapacitated relative.

Recognizing the need for GSI

These warning signs should never be ignored and should immediately be reported to the proper authorities. You might be the only person standing up for someone who’s needlessly suffering and living a life of hardship and misery.

After all, imagine if it was you in this position. Wouldn’t you want someone to take action on your behalf? Wouldn’t you welcome help and assistance from someone who cares?

Eligibility

Guardianship clients must be adult residents of Tarrant County who have been adjudicated incapacitated, and are in need of a guardian. They must meet the Texas Estates Code definition of incapacity. GSI is appointed only when there is no family member or friend able to serve. All Guardianship Program clients are referred directly from the probate court.

Decision-Making Principles

As guardian, GSI follows two basic decision-making principles.

Substituted Judgment: The case manager’s goal is to discover what the client would have wanted if he or she had capacity and could have communicated that decision. If possible, GSI then carries out the client’s wishes.

Best Interest: When it is impossible to learn what a client would want, GSI evaluates the risks and benefits of a course of action and decides what would best serve the client.

Applying these principles ensures that GSI preserves clients’ rights and preferences, while protecting them from abuse, neglect or exploitation.

Guardians are responsible for:

  • Ensuring the client’s living environment is safe and secure;
  • Arranging for and consenting to medical treatment;
  • Applying for public benefits;
  • Making sure the client receives appropriate nutrition and medication;
  • Arranging for in-home or other support services;
  • Advocating for the client’s preferences and needs.

Effective September 1, 2006, the Texas Probate Code required the following individuals be certified in order to provide guardianship services in Texas:


An individual who is a private, professional guardian;

An individual who will provide guardianship services to a ward of a private professional guardian or the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services on the guardian’s or department’s behalf;

An individual who will provide guardianship services to a ward of a guardianship program on the program’s behalf.


All GSI staff members who are involved in the provision of guardianship services have been certified or provisionally certified according to the requirements of the Judicial Branch Certification Commission. Volunteers are not certified. Therefore, they must be accountable to the case managers responsible for the clients.

All guardianship referrals are initiated by the Tarrant County Probate Courts. If you know of someone who might need a guardian and has no one to help, call either 817-884-2189 or 817-884-3395 to report the case. Guardianship Services, Inc. does not accept direct referrals.

That’s why GSI asks everyone to remain vigilant, and to speak up for those who might not be able to speak on their own behalf.

Simply click on the link below to learn about GSI volunteer opportunities.

Get Involved