Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

25.3 Adult Guardianship/Conservatorship

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter:
Chapter 25-APS Court
Effective:
1/22/2014
Section:
25.3 Adult Guardianship/Conservatorship
Version:
4

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Legal Authority/Introduction

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is a guardian of last resort and is not ordinarily or customarily appointed unless there are no other suitable individuals available.

Procedure

If no individuals are willing and able to serve as guardian, the SSW:

  1. Consults with the FSOS or designee to determine that:
    1. An urgent and bona fide need to initiate the action exists;
    2. It is the least restrictive measure;
    3. Filing the petition is in the best interest of the individual; and
    4. No one else is willing to bring the petition;
  2. Discusses with and obtains approval from the Service Region Administrator or designee to initiate the process for state guardianship/conservatorship;
  3. Contacts the Department for Aging and Independent Living, Division of Guardianship regional supervisor or designee to discuss the case prior to initiating the guardianship/conservatorship court process.

When the regional decision is made that the Cabinet may need to serve as the guardian or conservator, the SSW:

  1. Completes the AOC-740 Petition to Determine if Disabled and AOC-745 Application for Appointment of Fiduciary for Disabled Persons and signs them as a "Representative of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services” (the signature is not notarized);
  2. Files the AOC-740 and the AOC-745 with the District court;
  3. Completes the GF-012 Request for Guardian Information form;
  4. Sends a copy of the completed AOC-740, a copy of the adult assessment and a copy of the GF-012 Request for Guardian Information form to the Department for Aging and Independent Living, Division of Guardianship regional supervisor;
  5. Completes all sections of the adult assessment as fully as possible (this step is completed by the SSW making the referral). 

If after the petition is filed, an emergency arises that would create a life threatening situation to the adult, the SSW:

  1. Considers the least restrictive measures including all applicable services in SOP 25.2 Involuntary Protective Services;
  2. Contacts the Service Region Administrator or designee to discuss the situation and obtain approval to file an AOC-747-Petition/Application for Emergency Appointment of Fiduciary;
  3. Completes the AOC-747 and an affidavit outlining the facts supporting the need for emergency guardianship; 
  4. Signs the petition as a "Representative of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services;"
  5. Testifies at the emergency hearing which is held within forty eight (48) hours, or when the court sets the hearing time;
  6. If granted, immediately contacts the Department for Aging and Independent Living, Division of Guardianship regional supervisor to notify them of the appointment;
  7. Completes the GF-012 Request for Guardian Information form;
  8. Faxes a copy of the AOC-748-Order for Emergency Appointment of Fiduciary and the GF-012 Request for Guardian Information form to the Department for Aging and Independent Living, Division of Guardianship regional  supervisor or designee; and
  9. Testifies at the hearing to present facts supporting the need for a guardian/ conservator and the disability of the adult.

In completing the interdisciplinary team (IDT) evaluation report the SSW, at a minimum, addresses the following:

  1. The individual’s relationship with family;
  2. The individual’s functioning within his/her environment;
  3. The individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living;
  4. Any neglect, abuse, exploitation or self neglect history; and
  5. Any alternatives to guardianship/conservatorship.

In the absence of court directives to the contrary, the IDT evaluation may include DCBS case data no more than three (3) months old and the SSW:

  1. May attach a narrative of the IDT evaluation to the court form(s);
  2. Submits a single or joint report; 
  3. Reviews all IDT members’ evaluations if the SSW testifies on behalf of the IDT   team;
  4. Routinely has sixty (60) days from the filing of the petition to complete the IDT evaluation report, except for emergency guardianship petitions; 
  5. Submits the IDT evaluation report to the court and provides copies to the    attorneys and/or guardian ad litem ten (10) days prior to the hearing.

Practice Guidance

  • According to KRS Chapter 387, interdisciplinary team members (IDT), whenever possible, are chosen from among employees of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services residing or working in the area. 
  • The SSW serves at no additional compensation. 
  • To serve on the interdisciplinary team the SSW must:
    • Be a licensed clinical social worker; or
    • Be a licensed social worker; or
    • Be a certified social worker; or
    • Have a Baccalaureate degree in social work or social welfare; or
    • Have a Master's degree in social work; or
    • Have a Doctoral degree in social work; or
    • Have a Baccalaureate degree in a related field, two (2) years experience in a social work capacity, and the course work in the related field meets the equivalent standard for a social work program.
  • A SSW with a related degree may request a college or university with an accredited social work program to determine if the course work in the related degree meets the course work for a social work degree. 
  • If the equivalency standards are met, the SSW submits the review and determination by the university to the Kentucky Social Work Licensure Board for approval.  A link to the licensure board can be found on the Division of Occupations & Professions website.  
  • When a SSW is ordered by the court to serve on an interdisciplinary team that does not have the required degree or certification, the SSW tells the court and the Office of Legal Services in writing, that the SSW does not meet the qualifications listed above. 
  • If the court does not rescind the order, the SSW completes the evaluation and submits it to the court. 
 

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