In order to allow county boards of DD to better cooperate with other agencies such as probate courts and county boards of alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health (ADAMH) services on guardianship issues, OACB is pursuing legislation to establish specialized guardianship services boards for indigent, service-eligible adults without guardians.
This permissive legislation would allow boards of DD to work with partners of their choosing to create specialized guardianship boards tailored to local needs. No county would be required to establish or fund an inter-agency guardianship board.
Such a board was created in Franklin County several years ago in response to service gaps that resulted in many people without guardians becoming wards of court-appointed attorneys (some of whom abused the system for financial gain) or being committed for lengthy hospital stays because of a lack of specialized care and housing options. The new board has helped alleviate many such cases and prevented new cases from occurring.
Other county boards of DD have expressed interest in creating similar guardianship services boards. However, current law permits such a board to be established only in Franklin County. The permissive language envisioned by the Policy Committee of the OACB Board of Trustees would allow customizable guardianship boards to be created across the state without affecting existing guardianship board agreements.
OACB is crafting this language and will share it with members at a later date. The association will communicate legislative updates as they occur.
Members with questions about this topic should contact Bridget Gargan (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 614-431-0616.
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