Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Adult Guardianship (AG) 8: Frequency of Contact

Personnel have regular contact with individuals to support the achievement of desired outcomes.
2020 Edition

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Purpose

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.
1
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.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures governing frequency of contact
  • 24-hour coverage schedules for the previous six months
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

Fundamental Practice

AG 8.01

Guardianship services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Interpretation

Organizations may utilize a rotating on-call system using pagers or cell phones to ensure someone from the organization is available for after-hour emergencies. This should include methods for accessing client records so on-call staff have access to the summary of authorities granted by the court-order and documentation of work that has been done on the case.

Fundamental Practice

AG 8.02

The guardianship worker makes in-person contact with the individual monthly, and more frequently as needed, given the:
  1. individual’s identified needs;
  2. case complexity;
  3. housing situations; and
  4. court mandates or legal requirements.

Interpretation

If contact is not made at least monthly, the reasons for infrequent contact should be documented in the case record. Living in a staffed residential facility or at home with a paid caregiver is not sufficient justification for reducing the frequency of face-to-face contact as the quality or appropriateness of services being provided could be inadequate. The organization must also be able to demonstrate that the standard of care is appropriate, there is no abuse occurring, and the services being provided are effectively meeting the needs of the individual prior to reducing the frequency of contact. In such situations, regular visits to residential facilities or homes and quarterly face-to-face contact with the individual should continue.