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Probate Court launches Volunteer Guardianship Program

Judge Kathleen Giesler with Program Coordinator Jennifer Simpson

Due to an increasing number of Ottawa County residents in need of a guardian without a suitable person to act in this capacity, Ottawa County Probate Court Judge Kathleen L. Giesler sought to develop a Volunteer Guardianship program to serve incompetent adults in need.  In 2013, the Court reached out to Ottawa County organizations as well as other probate courts and agencies throughout the state to help develop its own court-based volunteer guardianship program. This initiative is slated to begin in February of 2014.

The Court is now in the process of recruiting volunteers to serve as guardians for persons who primarily reside in nursing homes and have no family or other support systems to act as surrogate decision makers.   The role of a volunteer guardian provides the opportunity to nurture, advocate and care for another person in Ottawa County who otherwise may have no one in his or her life.

“You can help to insure the best quality of life possible for that person while protecting their dignity,” said Program Coordinator Jennifer Simpson. “Your work in this capacity would be guided by the Ottawa County Probate Court with specific training and ongoing support”.

To learn more about this volunteer opportunity, please contact Jennifer Simpson at 419-734-6833.

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