Young adults and senior citizens served by Hamilton County Job and Family Services need guardians who can help them make life and medical decisions.
Children with developmental disabilities who age out of the child welfare system at age 21 are often unable to make decisions for themselves. The same is true of senior citizens (over age 60) suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If there are no family members to help, these individuals require legal guardians.
Guardians are appointed through probate court. In Hamilton County, when a child turns 18 years of age and requires guardianship, they can be placed on a lengthy waiting list for guardians. Hamilton County JFS also has to seek guardianship for senior citizens involved with its Adult Protective Services program.
Guardianship is important for a person’s quality of life. Guardians make all day-to-day decisions of a personal nature on behalf of the individual, including medical and dental treatment, behavior-support strategies, work, residential placement and quality-of-life decisions. Without a guardian, a child or senior citizen does not have someone to make critical decisions about their medical care.
Anyone can become a legal guardian. Guardians must fill out required paperwork, consent to criminal background checks, complete online or in-person training and submit bi-annual reports to the local probate court. For more information, and to find the necessary paperwork, visit the Hamilton County Probate Court website. To become a guardian of someone in the agency’s Adult Protective Services program, contact Stephanie Hull at 946-2369 or Tamara Harrison at 946-1244.
There is a free in-person training coming on May 11 and on July 13. The Adult Guardian Fundamentals training runs from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is being held in Batavia, Hamilton and Columbus. For more information on trainings, visit https://judicialecademy.ohio.gov/CourseSearch.aspx
There is a great need for guardians in Hamilton County. Can you help?