Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of individuals in need of guardianship.
Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience. Support can be provided through supervision or other learning activities to improve understanding or skill development in specific areas.
Individuals who receive guardianship services maintain a level of independence and self-determination appropriate to their functional capacity, and are at minimized risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
With some exceptions, staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc., but the integrity of the service is not compromised; or
Supervisors provide additional support and oversight, as needed, to the few staff without the listed qualifications; or
Most staff who do not meet educational requirements are seeking to obtain them; or
With few exceptions, staff have received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
Training curricula are not fully developed or lack depth; or
Training documentation is consistently maintained and kept up-to-date with some exceptions; or
A substantial number of supervisors meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization provides training and/or consultation to improve competencies when needed; or
With few exceptions, caseload sizes are consistently maintained as required by the standards or as required by internal policy when caseload has not been set by a standard; or
Workloads are such that staff can effectively accomplish their assigned tasks and provide quality services and are adjusted as necessary; or
Specialized services are obtained as required by the standards.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
A significant number of staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) do not possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc.; and as a result, the integrity of the service may be compromised; or
Job descriptions typically do not reflect the requirements of the standards, and/or hiring practices do not document efforts to hire staff with required qualifications when vacancies occur; or
Supervisors do not typically provide additional support and oversight to staff without the listed qualifications; or
A significant number of staff have not received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
Training documentation is poorly maintained; or
A significant number of supervisors do not meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization makes little effort to provide training and/or consultation to improve competencies; or
There are numerous instances where caseload sizes exceed the standards' requirements or the requirements of internal policy when a caseload size is not set by the standard; or
Workloads are excessive, and the integrity of the service may be compromised; or
Specialized staff are typically not retained as required and/or many do not possess the required qualifications; or
Specialized services are infrequently obtained as required by the standards.
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Table of contents of training curricula
Procedures or other documentation relevant to continuity of care and case assignment
Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
Documentation of current caseload size per worker
Interviews may include:
Review personnel files
Guardianship workers are licensed or certified as required by state law, and qualified by:
an advanced degree in a relevant field; or
a bachelor’s degree with two years' relevant experience.
Examples: Relevant degrees or experience include law, social work, accounting, nursing, business, geriatrics, developmental disability, psychology, occupational therapy, and public administration.
Supervisors are licensed or certified as required by state law, and qualified by:
an advanced degree in a relevant field;
a minimum of two years' related experience; and
maintainance of certification from a national certifying body.
The organization has access to professionals with expertise in critical areas, such as financial management, health care, housing, bioethics, and law.
The organization may use members of its staff or board as experts in relevant areas. When the organization does not have needed professionals on staff or on its governing body, it should establish relationships with community stakeholders with a vested interest in the service population to fill this consultative role.
Guardianship workers are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
ethics issues unique to adult guardianship including bioethics and healthcare decision-making;
substituted judgment and best-interest standards of decision-making;
local guardianship law including interstate jurisdiction and processes for terminating a guardianship; and
state and federal regulations governing eligibility for public benefits, and appropriate steps to maintain the individual’s eligibility.
Examples: Regarding element f, training regarding eligibility requirements can include income and resource limitations, and transactions or assistance from family members that may disqualify the individual from continuing to receive public benefits, such as rent payment, groceries, or cash. Examples of steps that can be used to maintain eligibility can include tools designed to spend down assets to within limits, such as the establishment of a special needs trust, or pre-payment of funeral or burial plans.
Employee workloads meet the organization’s established caseload ratios and ensure that workers are able to provide appropriate support and timely decision-making for the individuals on their caseload.
The organization should be able to justify established ratios based on established criteria and demonstrate how it assures appropriate, high quality care is being provided to each client.
When an organization assigns teams of professionals to carry out different responsibilities for each case, all full-time, professional staff may be counted when determining the staff-to-client ratio.