Surrogate Decisionmaking for Adults: Model Standards to Ensure

Quality Guardianship and Representative Payeeship Services


In response to the AP series published in September of 1987 on describing the problems and abuses in the provision of guardianship services, there was a call from prominent advocates for the elderly in Congress, state legislators and judicial officers, and numerous others, for standards against which the quality of guardianship services might be measured.

The Center for Social Gerontology (TCSG) is one of the few to have undertaken development of standards for providers of guardianship services.   The TCSG standards, which were originally developed for the State of Michigan, have been adapted and modified for The Subcommittee on Housing and Consumer Interests of the House Select Committee on Aging for national use.  TCSG is very grateful to the Subcommittee for this opportunity to disseminate the proposed model standards and to urge their adaptation and implementation nationwide.

To the knowledge of TCSG and the Subcommittee, the national standards proposed here and the Michigan standards from which they were derived are the first attempts to set forth a comprehensive statement of roles and responsibilities of guardianship service providers.  The standards also address representative payeeship because this form of surrogate decision-making can have serious consequences to the individual, and most providers of guardianship services also provide representative payee services.

It is our hope that these standards in this congressional report reprinted by TCSG will serve as a blueprint to work from, and will promote dialogue and timely action at the local, state, and national levels.  Such action is needed throughout the country to assure that surrogate decision-making services are provided in a uniform, high-quality manner which maximizes the potential of every individual for self-reliance and independence.

116 pages. October 1989. 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.