Friday, July 4, 2014

Summit County (Ohio) Probate Court Launches Volunteer Guardian Program

Last week, Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer of the Summit County Probate Court announced the formation of a volunteer legal guardian program to bolster the ranks of attorneys representing the growing number of the elderly in the Akron area.

The initiative, a collaboration with the County Executive’s Office, the Department of Public Health, the ADM Board and the Summit DD Board, chose Jewish Family Services to train citizens to represent those under the guardianship of the probate court.

In September 2013, Judge Stormer created a program to train volunteer visitors who visit wards in long-term car facilities more regularly than the overworked guardians could manage. In January, the court began requiring background checks for new legal guardians following the removal of 10 guardians after complaints of malfeasance and inattention.

“The sheer volume of wards appointed to each guardian often allows for only one visit per year. The attorneys are already working for free as guardians, so you can’t expect them to go out and visit the wards more often,” Judge Stormer told the Legal News in September.

Court staff cited the aging Baby Boomer generation for the rise of indigent guardianships – over 2200 currently in Summit County. Last year, the Scripps Gerontology Center projected Ohio’s 60-plus population to increase by 30% by 2020.

“The JFS Volunteer Guardian Program volunteers will make a real difference to someone facing the most challenging time of their life,” Judge Stormer said. “Our court works every day to protect those who cannot care for themselves.”

The probate court will provide a significant portion of the funding to the program along with training and oversight.

The court chose Jewish Family Services as its provider because of its compatible mission, senior services and existing fiduciary relationship with the county, according the staff.

Full Article and Source:
Probate Court Launches Volunteer Guardian Program


Thelma said...

Visitation is the most important feature an elder can have when locked up in a facility.

Finny said...

A monitoring program is a great step toward catching the culprits.

Sue said...

Ohio is progressive obviously they see the light shining on the dark ugly side of the protection racket.

This entire system has been twisted and manipulated for lucrative business deals.

Probate court: business deals being conducted in a courtroom

That's the bottom line and we the taxpayers are funding this from many angles including those who have assets ending up on MEDICAID because their income and estates are drained by Team Guardian.

Get your advance directives in order without those documents guardianship is in your future.

Anonymous said...

Who is going to audit guardianship books to make sure victims aren't just under guardianship for the taking?