National Study of Guardianship Systems: Finding & Recommendations

 

Those concerned about the services provided by guardians focus on the dangers of ignorance, incompetence, negligence and even malfeasance by guardians, especially where the guardian is a "service program" paid by public or client funds, have called for the creation of standards and guidelines for guardians, the development of training programs and the use of improved monitoring techniques.

In recognition of these concerns, in its 1989 request for proposals, the Administration on Aging solicited proposals to examine the guardianship system and to suggest solutions for problems within that system.  Two specific priority areas were identified:

      to increase knowledge about the current system nationally through research; and

      to develop a computerized system to assist courts in making decisions about the need for guardianship.

The Center for Social Gerontology (TCSG) requested and received funds to conduct a project to address both priority areas.  This project, conducted between October 1989 and January 1992, addressed the two priority areas by undertaking:

1.    to study guardianship systems around the country,

2.    to explore data collection practices of courts and their administrative offices, and

3.    to explore the feasibility of -- rather than actually develop -- a computerized system to assist courts in making decisions about the need for guardianship.

This monograph describes the outcomes and findings of the first activity.  The exploration of data collection practices and feasibility study of a computerized system to assist courts in making decisions about the need for guardianship are described in separate papers.

This project was supported, in part, by grants, No. 90-AR-0124 and No. 90-AM-0707 from the Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201.  Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions.  Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration on Aging policy.

162 pages. November 1994. To order, print and fill out an order form from our Publications Page, or call TCSG at (734) 665-1126. TCSG accepts checks and money orders only.