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WINGS WORK GROUP FOR POST – APPOINTMENT GUARDIANSHIP ISSUES:
October 1, 2014
Group Members: Risa Breckman
The workgroup members felt that all workgroup recommendations made would be divided into the
Requires changes to ³
• Enter TRO’s into the central registry electronic system. Like criminal and family court Orders of
Protection, the Court Clerks/Office of Court Administrators should enter TROs into the central
registry electronic system, thereby alerting the police department that they can enforce the court
orders in guardianship proceedings. This recommendation would force uniformity.
• Write court orders clearly and mandate specific actions. The language of the court order should
be written clearly and mandate specific action(s) so police will understand what the restrained
person can and cannot do. TROs should indicate whether the restrained person was present in
court when the order was issued or if the order was served.
• Train Key Entities. Adapt existing or develop new curriculum for key entities involved in the
pre-guardianship process (e.g. law enforcement, court staff, OLA) on elder abuse red flags,
resources and appropriate responses. Offer training for these key entities with sufficient
frequency to ensure all involved have received it.1
This recommendation will be executed in coordination with the WINGS Training Subcommittee.
Flag guardianship proceedings commenced due to elder abuse by creating a data item on the
Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) form, thereby collecting data on the number of elder abuse
related guardianship proceedings.
• Designate when a case involves elder abuse and then follow a specific protocol for handling the
caseload, complete with checklist.
• Assign “high risk” elder abuse cases a trained2 guardian “specialist”:
o Guardian specialists should be selected from a trained elder abuse specialist panel.
o Trained guardian should work with DVOs.
o Specialist should establish mini-team of representatives from involved systems to follow
the case if necessary. (Specialists will need additional funding for this work.)
o Guardian should be required to make more than four visits, with the exact number to be
determined by the court in each case.
• Create a parallel second panel of Attorneys for the AIP with additional training and experience to
be assigned to elder abuse cases.
• Re-evaluate the Court Evaluator role and implement protocols to foster consistency.
o Work with DA’s Office and other community resources.
o Share information on criminal cases.
o Develop checklists on whom to call and whom to inform (e.g. APS, DA, DFTA, JASA,
Police Precinct, Home Health Agencies, family court, primary care physicians,
• Develop local Guardianship Case Review Teams to review complex guardianship cases and
identify either best practices for elder abuse prevention and response or opportunities for
improvement. Consider adapting the fatality review committee model for this purpose.
• Review panel of professionals on Part 36 list to see if they represent the universe of people with
appropriate guardianship experience. If not, consider how to cast a wider net in order to expand
the list to contain professionals with a variety of backgrounds (e.g. social work, law, nursing,
medicine) as well as relevant experience and training.
Additional commentary during discussion:
Elder abuse protocols need to be developed especially helpful when family members are
Guardians. Visitations to be stipulated. Utilize NF Ombudsman as advocates.
Role of Court Examiners in Post Cases of elder abuse cases should be reviewed. Consistent
practice to be identified. Currently it appears as if they are reading the report and stamping it
‘received’. Their role could be reviewed however if duties increased or changed, NY statute
would need to be amended.
Guardian specialists should be trained in elder abuse prevention and response. If the current panel does not include
guardians with this experience, training will need to be developed and provided at an additional cost.