Frequently Asked Questions
Guardianship is a legally defined process whereby a person (the ward) has been declared by the Probate Court to be incompetent and a guardian is appointed by the Probate Court for the care and management of the ward. Guardianship may be of the person, the estate, or both. Wayne County Volunteer Guardianship Association Volunteers will only be appointed as Guardian of the person. In most instances, the guardianship of the person will be requested from the Probate Court or in some cases a care facility. There are certain requirements of a guardian that are part of the Ohio Revised Code. These will be dealt with in detail in the training session.
As a volunteer guardian, one or two hours per month would generally be needed. This time could be a combination of telephone and in-person contacts, including attending the quarterly care conferences, when possible. Volunteer guardians are required to attend an initial training program. The Volunteer Coordinator will contact you with the location and time of the training program.
The people who are referred to the Wayne County Volunteer Guardianship Association (WCVGA) must be adults, are most often indigent, lacking available or appropriate family and/or support systems, and are unable to make decisions for themselves as defined by law. The majority reside in long term care facilities and group homes.
As a volunteer guardian your primary tasks would be health-related decision-making and advocating for the ward. You would always have the Volunteer Coordinator available for consultation as you make decisions.
You are not personally liable for any costs incurred by the ward that exceed the ward’s assets. You incur the travel and telephone costs of having contact with the ward.
There is a process to becoming a volunteer and you will not be asked to make a commitment until the training is completed. You will be asked to complete an application and provide three references. The application is submitted to the WCVGA. Each applicant will undergo a background check. After the training is completed you will be asked if you are ready to commit to being a Volunteer Guardian. The WCVGA will try to geographically match Volunteer Guardians and Wards. Once a match is made you will be given information about the person, their needs, and health status. If at that time you are ready to proceed as a Volunteer Guardian, the WCVGA will prepare the necessary paperwork for court.
In addition to the information provided during the initial training, you will receive a notebook, “Guardian of the Person Handbook”. These resources may help you with some problems. Should a problem, concern or question arise at any time during the guardianship, contact the Volunteer Coordinator of the Wayne County Volunteer Guardianship Association who will provide information or arrange for you to speak to someone else, if necessary.
As a guardian of the person, the Court will require a Guardian’s Report to be completed every two years. This will be fully explained to you in the training session. Volunteer guardians are required to keep records of the date, type, time and content of contacts with the ward. Again, the information on how to do this will be explained during the training and materials will be furnished by the WCVGA.
Volunteering in this program will give you the opportunity to meet a need in your own community for a special group of people. You will be able to reach out with a caring heart and hand to a person who likely is without family or close friends. You will gain experience in nurturing, advocating and caring for another person who otherwise would have no one in his or her life. Perhaps most importantly, you will receive satisfaction in making someone’s life better. The individual may be facing the reality of the end of life in an unfamiliar setting. With all of today’s technology, there is nothing that can begin to replace the smile or touch of another human being. Only you can provide this.
The WCVGA mission statement is as follows:
“The mission of the Wayne County Volunteer Guardianship Association is to locate and assist volunteer guardians to provide for the needs of the mentally incompetent in Wayne County, Ohio.”