Friday, July 18, 2008

"Fundamentals of Guardianship" Workshop

A "Fundamentals of Guardianship" workshop will be presented in Pittsburgh, PA on Monday, August 18, 2008, by The National Guardianship Association, Inc.

Tailored to the Needs and Interests of Guardians in Pennsylvania This workshop will benefit professional guardians in private or public practice and family or volunteer guardians, as well as professionals that work in a collateral capacity with guardians.

Each person will receive a copy of NGA’s publication “The Fundamentals of Guardianship,” which the presenters will reference throughout the workshop.
The sponsoring organization, NGA, holds a mission "to establish and promote a nationally recognized standard of excellence in guardianship." To this end, it publishes its "Standards of Practice", 3rd Edition (2007, PDF, 27 pages), available online, which was first prepared in 2000 and is regularly updated.
In this work we have drawn on a number of collective sources. First and foremost have been NGA members who have contributed extensive time and energy and valuable input into the development of these standards. The Model Code of Ethics for Guardians, developed by Michael D. Casasanto, Mitchell Simon, and Judith Roman and adopted by the NGA, has formed the foundation from which the standards were developed.

Other very important sources that
Standards of Practice, National Guardianship Association helped in the creation of our standards of practice are the U.S. Administration on Aging, the AARP, the Center for Social Gerontology, the Michigan Offices of Services for the Aging, and the state associations from Arizona, Washington, California, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. * * *

The NGA Ethics and Standards Committee is proud to announce that the NGA Standards of Practice for Guardians have been acknowledged by this national group of guardianship experts and are being endorsed as the model standards to be followed by all guardians in the United States.
The Workshop is promoted on the website of the National College of Probate Judges, which demonstrates the support of that organization for the work of NGA in general.

NCPJ posted an article, entitled "Guardianship Monitoring: A Demographic Imperative", by Hon. Steve M. King, which addresses court monitoring of guardianships.
Demographic trends are converging to create an unprecedented increase in guardianships. State courts are faced with the responsibility of ensuring their wards receive appropriate care without exploitation and neglect. A decades-long process of improving court monitoring of guardianships continues as the federal government focuses on the issue.

NCPJ is part of a larger group of state court judges concerned about elder abuse, as evidenced by a Press Release, dated June 15, 2006, issued by the National Center for State Courts, entitled "National Center for State Courts Leads Court Improvement Efforts in the Area of Elder Abuse".
[T]he National Center for State Courts (NCSC) today released a seminal Policy Paper resulting from the first-ever meeting of the Elder Abuse and Courts Working Group in April [2006].

The Policy Paper outlines specific products, strategies, and recommendations that can be developed and implemented to increase awareness among the judiciary and improve court responses to the serious and growing problem of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
The report can be found [here. (June 12, 2006, PDF, 21 pages)].

The multidisciplinary Elder Abuse and the Courts Working Group is comprised of many of the nation’s elder abuse experts, with representation from courts, criminal justice agencies, adult protective services, advocacy and legal organizations and government agencies.

The Working Group was established by the NCSC in 2005 to increase judicial awareness, build court capacity, and develop tools that courts can use to improve the identification of and response to the growing problem of elder abuse.* * *

The upcoming Workshop in Pittsburgh "will cover guardianship practice and application of recognized standards and then address the specifics of guardianship under Pennsylvania law and regulations." It will be led by three presenters:

  • Sally Hurme, JD -- Senior Project Manager with AARP Financial Security
  • Vicki V. Alkire, MG, CPHQ, CMCA -- Founder and President of Viable Alternatives, Inc.

  • Judge Frank J. Lucchino -- Administrative Judge for the Orphans' Court Division, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, PA.
This is the schedule posted for the Workshop:
8:00 am Registration Desk opens
9:00 am Workshop General Session with Sally Hurme and Vicki Alkire

* What is guardianship
* Alternatives to guardianship
* Rights of individuals under guardianship
* Responsibilities of a guardian

Noon Group Lunch for Networking

1:00 pm Workshop General Session Continues

* Fiduciary Principles
* Serving as Guardian of the Person
* Serving as Guardian of the Estate

3:00 pm Guardianship In Pennsylvania featuring Judge Frank J. Lucchino

4:00 pm Workshop Adjourns
The Workshop will be held at the Crowne Plaza (Pittsburgh International Airport), 1160 Thorn Run Road Extension, Coraopolis, PA 15108. Further registration information regarding the upcoming NGA Workshop can be accessed online here, which includes an Online Registration Form, a PDF Registration Form, and a PDF Brochure.