A court-appointed guardian’s job is to advocate for their clients by accessing resources, protecting them from financial predators, and protecting them from abuse to the best of their ability. They are not in the center of their clients’ lives, but allow the client as much autonomy as is safely possible while being vigilant to the potential problems in the clients’ lives.
The Need for Guardians
- The Guardian Institute was established in 2013 and designated a 501(c)3 public non-profit in December 2015. The Guardian Institute is a valuable tool for developing programs to meet the currently unmet needs of vulnerable, low-income adults under guardianship.
- The Guardian Institute is dedicated to improving not only the quality of life of these individuals but also the system of care on which they depend.
- We will gather much needed data on the cases in order to report the types of guardianship clients served, the success stories and the unsuccessful, and how we learned from each of them; also, the amount of in-kind donations of time and resources, how the funds were stretched to provide the most use and much more.
- This data will be used to develop an improved view of guardianship and how it can improve lives. The Guardian Institute will use real-life case studies to educate the community about the need for guardianship to this under-served population.
- We aim to achieve the twin goals of optimum client autonomy and an educated cadre of lay and professional guardians.
The Guardian Institute
- Parents who have been guardians for their incapacitated adult children are aging. These incapacitated adult children are being left without guardians when these parents die or become incapacitated themselves and do not have the funds with which to pay a professional guardian.
Incapacitated individuals with mental illness put a burden on our medical and criminal justice systems. They often have very low income and cannot pay a professional guardian to advocate for their needs.
- Even individuals in supported environments have needs that are not adequately met because these environments must cater to group, not individual needs. Many of these individuals are unstable medically or are in the criminal court system or homeless. A guardian would focus on their individual needs and goals, stabilizing and improving their lives.