Standardized Practices Proposed for Adult Guardianship Cases
The Ohio Supreme Court is considering new rules to promote standardized policies and practices in adult guardianship cases. The proposals are designed to guide local courts to establish guardianships that meet best practices and are consistent with national trends in such cases, to hold guardians accountable, and to ensure that the best interests of vulnerable adults are protected.
Rules of Superintendence 66.01 - 66.09 have been in development since 2007 when the Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Children and Families convened a subcommittee on adult guardianship to draft minimum standards. Additional input on the standards was provided by the Ohio Association of Probate Judges. The proposed rules announced today are based on those minimum standards.
“Inconsistent policies and practices can put Ohioans’ safety at risk,” Union County Probate Court Judge and former advisory committee member Charlotte Coleman Eufinger said. “By drafting rules, we will raise the level of education and professionalism expected from guardians, and promote the public’s trust and confidence in our courts to protect vulnerable adults.”
The rules would apply to cases where a non-family member is appointed guardian. Among the standards in the rules:
- Requires local courts establish procedures for accepting and reviewing complaints about guardians.
- Prohibits residential facilities, waiver programs, or their employees from serving as guardians while also providing direct service to a ward.
- Directs guardians to take annually one relevant course that is at least three hours in length, provided by the Judicial College or a court-approved provider.
- Cautions guardians against accepting more cases than they can appropriately support and provide quality guardianship services.
The text is available online during the public comment period that will end on June 25. Comments may be submitted in writing to:
Diana L. Ramos-Reardon
Domestic Violence Counsel
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street, Sixth Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
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