Tuesday, December 18, 2007

ABA Comm'n on Law and Aging publishes Volunteer Guardianship Monitoring report

Volunteer Guardianship Monitoring Programs: A Win-Win Solution, published this month by the ABA Commission on Law and Aging with a grant from the AARP Foundation, is a study of volunteer guardianship monitoring projects initiated by AARP in 1990.  The study aimed to determine the extent to which the AARP volunteer guardianship monitoring projects are still functioning, and to examine their experiences and effectiveness in the 10 years since AARP discontinued support.

Volunteer Guardianship Monitoring Programs: A Win-Win Solution is an important resource for courts and persons interested in guardianship monitoring. 

The study found:

· More than half of the programs are still active and their volunteers are satisfied.

· Volunteers are critical to a program’s success and failure.

· Programs maximized scarce resources to successfully intervene and provide remediations for incapacitated adults at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and assisted guardians. 

· Volunteers-while not free-provide an enormous value, bring a new perspective and energy to the work the court does, and often have skills and experience that paid staff does not have.

· Programs enhance the court’s capacity to monitor cases and to assist guardians without substantially increasing staff and budgets, and help the volunteers make important contributions to their own well-being.

The study urges courts interested in ensuring a program’s success do the following:

  • Make room for the program.
  • Have a paid program coordinator.
  • Recruit volunteers.
  • Form partnerships with the state and local AARP offices. 
  • Recognize volunteers.
  • Adequately supervise volunteers. 
  • Conduct comprehensive training for volunteers on a regular basis.
  • Track results of the program and use this information to regularly inform the court of the program’s importance. 
  • Integrate the volunteer program into the larger monitoring program at the court.

Volunteer Guardianship Monitoring Programs: A Win-Win Solution is available by calling (202) 662-8690.  (For a more comprehensive report on a range of guardianship monitoring practices, see Guarding the Guardians: Promising Practices for Court Monitoring, by the AARP Public Policy Institute with the collaboration of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, available on the AARP Public Policy Institute website http://www.aarp.org/research/legal/guardianships/2007_21_guardians.html.)

Via the Elderbar listserv....

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/elder_law/2007/12/aba-commn-on-la.html

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