MorningJournal.com, Posted October 18th 2022
After a two-year hiatus due to coronavirus restrictions, the Cuyahoga County Probate Court announced the reinstitution of the Guardian Partners Program.
Guardians, appointed by the probate court, currently care for the over 7,000 adults in Cuyahoga County who are unable to care for themselves due to mental and often also physical disabilities, according to a news release.
In order to help monitor this population and protect wards from situations that may result in exploitation, abuse or neglect, the court is recruiting and training Guardian Partners to conduct wellness checks for all wards at their place of residence, speak to guardians and their wards, and report any issues that may affect the health and welfare of the ward, the release said.
If any concerns are reported, the court will follow up.
The goal is for a Guardian Partner to personally visit each ward in Cuyahoga County and report back on their welfare, according to the release.
Presiding Probate Court Judge Anthony J. Russo and Judge Laura J. Gallagher strongly believe that this program is a best practice for the court, which is, by law, the superior guardian for all wards under the court’s jurisdiction, the release said.
“This important and innovative program will help to ensure the well-being of Cuyahoga County’s most vulnerable adult residents,” Russo said in the release.
The Cuyahoga County Probate Court is one of the largest counties in Ohio to adopt such a program, he said.
“Our Guardian Partners are professionals, and all have a legal, social work or health and human services background,” Russo said. “These highly qualified individuals are assisting the court on a part-time basis and will be paid a stipend for each visit.”
For more information or to a inquire about becoming a Guardian Partner, contact Program Director Magistrate Sarah Lukwinski at the Cuyahoga County Probate Court at 216-443-8578 or [email protected].