In the past, the Court has turned to local attorneys to serve as guardians in these cases, however, the number of such cases has grown to the point that local attorneys cannot absorb all of them.
This program is designed to fill that void. The Volunteer Guardianship Program of 50 North is designed to meet the needs of individuals in our community who need assistance making decisions that affect their lives. Initially the program will be concentrating on individuals in our community who are 50 years of age and older. The program will recruit, screen, train and support guardians for our county residents who require a court appointed guardian. Our volunteer guardians will only be the guardians of “the person”. This means that no money or financial assets of the client will be administered by this program.
Please consider giving your time and talents to assist us in helping those who cannot help themselves.
There has been a growing realization over the past ten years or more, that some sort of guardianship program was needed in Hancock County to provide volunteers to serve as guardians for those individuals who were no longer able to make basic decisions for themselves.
There have been previous efforts to establish such a program, including Hancock County GIVE Program, but none of them had sufficient financial backing or permanent paid staff members to permit them to continue indefinitely.
In 2003, Hancock County Probate Court Judge Allan H. Davis, concerned by the growing need for guardians and the lack of a sufficient number of individuals available for appointment in that capacity, spearheaded a forum attended by representatives of a broad cross section of the local elder-care and mental health agencies. After the committee had reviewed the need for such a program and having set out a course of action, 50 North agreed to oversee this program given that a significant number of individuals who would need the services of a guardian are elderly and a part of the population that the organization already has a mission to serve.
In September of 2005, 50 North obtained a three year grant from the Findlay/Hancock Community Foundation to assist in the cost of establishing such a program. After several months of developing training manuals, creating forms and establishing policies and procedures, the recruiting, screening and training of volunteers began in the spring of 2006.
The Volunteer Guardianship Program of 50 North is operated in partnership with the Hancock County Probate Court. The program is a member of the Ohio Guardianship Association and the National Guardianship Association.