There is a growing need for Guardian Advocates. These are often parents who care for their kids well past the age of eighteen. The rise in people with autism is one reason, but there are many other types of challenges.
Guardian Advocates carry on certain tasks often done by parents of a minor.
They are responsible for helping a person with living conditions, such as home care or living in a facility or group home. However, Guardian Advocates also help with other things we take for granted. Examples include consenting to medical treatment, applying for government benefits, legal matters, signing contracts, and managing his or her property.
To become a Guardian Advocate, one must file a petition and show that the ward cannot make decisions necessary to care for his or herself. This includes decisions related to his or her person or property. You must be an adult who is also a resident of this state to apply as a Guardian Advocate.
Petitions for Guardian Advocate require detailed information. You must include details on the need for what decision making a ward needs help with, and how the Petitioner is related to the person. Other information needed includes the relationship the petitioner has with health care providers of the ward, and the basis for needing a Guardian Advocate.
The Eighth Judicial Circuit in Florida has an excellent set of checklists that are helpful. This includes sample forms, basic information about serving as Guardian Advocates, and information on being appointed. There is a training course that Guardian Advocates must take. Petitioners must also do a background check with fingerprints.
Guardian Advocates must also submit plans on how to care for the person. The first is due within 60 days of being appointed. After that, an Annual Plan must be filed which details the ward’s address, details on medical care received, and information on the social and personal services the person receives. All of this ensures that a person receives the best treatment possible. We keep some resources that may be helpful, but it’s always best to sit down and discuss your case.