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GUARDIANSHIPS: Protecting Your Rights. What is this training about? This training will help you learn: What a guardian does. What a guardian does. How.

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Presentation on theme: "GUARDIANSHIPS: Protecting Your Rights. What is this training about? This training will help you learn: What a guardian does. What a guardian does. How."— Presentation transcript:

1 GUARDIANSHIPS: Protecting Your Rights

2 What is this training about? This training will help you learn: What a guardian does. What a guardian does. How a guardian is chosen. How a guardian is chosen. How to end a guardianship. How to end a guardianship. How to protect your rights. How to protect your rights.

3 What is a guardian? Guardian: A person that has the legal right to make some choices for another person. Guardian: A person that has the legal right to make some choices for another person. Conservator: The person that has the legal right to make choices about money for another person. Conservator: The person that has the legal right to make choices about money for another person. ►► Because the same person is often the guardian and the conservator, this training uses the word guardian to mean both. ◄◄ ►► Because the same person is often the guardian and the conservator, this training uses the word guardian to mean both. ◄◄

4 Why have a guardian? A guardian may help: Make important decisions Make important decisions Pay bills Pay bills Protect a person’s rights Protect a person’s rights

5 Why not have a guardian? A guardian may not help because a guardian may: Take away independence Take away independence Hurt the person Hurt the person Make bad decisions Make bad decisions Make the person feel bad or angry Make the person feel bad or angry

6 How can I not have a guardian? A person may not need a guardian if the person shows that he or she can get help in other ways. A person may not need a guardian if the person shows that he or she can get help in other ways. ►►What are some other ways a person can get help?◄◄

7 What are other ways to get help? Other ways to get help making choices about money: Have a representative payee to help spend Social Security money. Have a representative payee to help spend Social Security money. Have another person, a co-signer, to help spend money in a joint bank account. Have another person, a co-signer, to help spend money in a joint bank account. Use a trust and a trustee. Use a trust and a trustee. Use a team or a support person to set up a plan to help pay bills. Use a team or a support person to set up a plan to help pay bills.

8 Other ways to get help (cont.) Other ways to get help making choices about health and safety: Have someone help you with applying for Medicaid or Social Security. Have someone help you with applying for Medicaid or Social Security. Choose someone to make medical choices for you. Choose someone to make medical choices for you. Use a team or a support person to help you make choices. Use a team or a support person to help you make choices.

9 How is a guardian chosen? Idaho has a law that gives the rules on how a guardian is chosen. The law, the DD Act says that a person with a disability: ➜ does not have to have a guardian. ➜ should be as independent as possible. ➜ should take part in decisions. ➜ should learn new skills. ➜ must have his or her rights protected.

10 How (cont.) The DD Act says that 5 things must happen before a guardian can be appointed. The DD Act says that 5 things must happen before a guardian can be appointed. Step 1: Paperwork is given to the court Step 2: A lawyer is chosen for the person Step 3: Evaluations are done. Step 4: A hearing is held. Step 5: The judge signs an order.

11 Step 1: Filing paperwork Any person can ask a judge to decide if a person needs a guardian. Any person can ask a judge to decide if a person needs a guardian. This person brings papers (called a petition) to the courthouse. This person brings papers (called a petition) to the courthouse. The person must give copies of the papers to the person with a disability. The person must give copies of the papers to the person with a disability.

12 Step 2: Choosing a lawyer A lawyer will be chosen for the person. A lawyer will be chosen for the person. The person can also choose his or her own lawyer. The person can also choose his or her own lawyer. The lawyer must learn what the person wants and tell this to the court. The lawyer must learn what the person wants and tell this to the court.

13 Step 3: Getting Information The judge will ask an “evaluation committee,” to visit the person. The evaluation committee includes:  A social worker  A medical doctor  A psychologist or person trained in psychology. in psychology.

14 Step 3 (cont.) The Evaluation Committee writes a report to the judge. The report must say: ➜ If the person needs a guardian. ➜ What the person does not need help with. ➜ What the person does need help with. ➜ I f the guardian will do a good job.

15 Step 4: Having a Hearing The judge will have a meeting at the courthouse, called a hearing. The judge will have a meeting at the courthouse, called a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will listen to people talk about if the person needs a guardian. At the hearing, the judge will listen to people talk about if the person needs a guardian. What the judge listens to and reads at the hearing is called evidence. What the judge listens to and reads at the hearing is called evidence. ►► The person can also ask other people to give evidence at the hearing. ◄◄

16 Step 5: Making a Decision The judge will: Decide if the person needs a guardian. Decide if the person needs a guardian. Decide what the guardian can do. Decide what the guardian can do. Sign papers that say what the judge decides. Sign papers that say what the judge decides. ►► The person must get a copy of the papers, called the “Letters of Guardianship.” ◄◄ ►► The person must get a copy of the papers, called the “Letters of Guardianship.” ◄◄

17 What can a guardian do? The judge will decide what choices the guardian can make for the person. A full guardian has the right to make many choices for a person. A full guardian has the right to make many choices for a person. A partial guardian can only make the choices that the papers, or the Letters of Guardianship, say. A partial guardian can only make the choices that the papers, or the Letters of Guardianship, say.

18 What can a full guardian do? A full guardian can make decisions about: A full guardian can make decisions about:  housing  treatment  work or school  service providers  money

19 What can a partial guardian do? A partial guardian can only make the choices that the judge allows. A partial guardian can only make the choices that the judge allows. ►► It is important to know what choices a partial guardian can and cannot make. ◄◄

20 Can the guardianship be changed? Does a guardianship have to last forever? NO! NO! A person can ask the judge to: End the guardianship End the guardianship Limit the decisions the guardian makes Limit the decisions the guardian makes Choose a new guardian Choose a new guardian

21 Changing (cont.) The person or any friend can file papers with the court to ask the judge to change the guardianship. The person or any friend can file papers with the court to ask the judge to change the guardianship. ►► The lawyer chosen for the person earlier can help change the guardianship later. ◄◄

22 Changing (cont.) Step 1: File paperwork with the court. Step 1: File paperwork with the court. Step 2: Have a new evaluation or give the court new information. Step 2: Have a new evaluation or give the court new information. Step 3: Have a new hearing. Step 3: Have a new hearing. Step 4: Get a new order from the judge. Step 4: Get a new order from the judge. ►► To end the guardianship, you should have new tests that say that you can make safe choices by yourself. ◄◄ ►► To end the guardianship, you should have new tests that say that you can make safe choices by yourself. ◄◄

23 Does a person have rights under a guardianship? REMEMBER: All people should be treated with dignity whether or not they have a guardian. All people should be treated with dignity whether or not they have a guardian.

24 Rights (cont.) Dignity means having: Dignity means having: ★ Freedom ★ Choice ★ Respect ★ Rights Self-determination is important for all.

25 Rights (cont.) At the hearing, the person has a right to: Have a lawyer. Have a lawyer. Have the judge know what the person wants. Have the judge know what the person wants. Ask people questions. Ask people questions. Bring people to talk about what the person can do. Bring people to talk about what the person can do.

26 Rights (cont.) Even with a guardian, people have rights, such as the right to: Vote Vote Have friends Have friends Be safe from harm Be safe from harm Get information about themselves Get information about themselves Say what they think Say what they think

27 Rights (cont.) Get married or divorced Get married or divorced Have children Have children Keep information private Keep information private Make as many choices as possible Make as many choices as possible Have their things and money kept safe Have their things and money kept safe ►► Being a self-advocate means telling someone if you are denied your rights. ◄◄

28 Credits DISABILITY RIGHTS IDAHO

29 Credits IDAHO COUNCIL ON DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

30 Credits IDAHO SELF-ADVOCATE LEADERSHIP NETWORK

31 Credits This training was funded in part by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. This training was funded in part by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. The information does not necessarily reflect the views of that agency The information does not necessarily reflect the views of that agency This training is not meant to be legal advice. This training is not meant to be legal advice. Revised 9/09 Revised 9/09


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