WASHTENAW COUNTY <br>TRIAL COURT

Probate Court
101 East Huron St. - Rm 314, PO Box 8645
Ann Arbor, MI 48107-8645
(734) 222-3072
probate@ewashtenaw.org  

 

Guardianship Investigation Volunteer Program

GIVPís Mission:

The Guardianship Investigation Volunteer Program is designed to assure that developmentally disabled, incapacitated elderly and children who cannot advocate for themselves are properly being taken care of by their legal guardians.  GIVP strives to preserve families by making guardians and wards aware of resources available in their community that will make their guardianship experience more fulfilling.  

GIVP Background:

The Probate Court oversees hundreds of guardianships where guardians care for children or adults (wards) who are unable to care for themselves.  Each year the guardians are required to file a report with the Probate Court describing the current situation of the ward and whether they believe the guardianship should continue.

The law requires the Probate Court to conduct an investigation in many of these guardianships to confirm that the information provided by the guardian is accurate and to investigate the current condition of the ward.  The Probate Court has created the Guardianship Investigation Volunteer Program (GIVP) so that trained, independent volunteers will be able to conduct these investigations and file a written report to the Court. 

Guardianship Investigation Volunteer Program (GIVP)

  • Awareness raising
  • Guidance
  • Justice
  • Protection
  • Preservation

Guardianship involves one who is legally responsible for the care and management of the person or property of an incompetent individual or a minor.

What is a ward?

A ward is a person declared by the Court as an incompetent adult or minor who is in need of the protection or care of an individual(s).

What is the advocateís role?

The advocate or volunteerís role in the Guardianship Investigation Volunteer Program (GIVP) is to bring problem areas within a guardianship case to the attention of the Court by visiting with wards and guardians, and completing the Courtís Investigation Reporting Form.   

The Volunteerís Involvement:

Volunteer involvement is vital in the Guardianship Investigation Volunteer Program (GIVP).  Prior to the assignment of guardianship cases, prospective volunteers must participate in a mandatory, two-hour training session.  The training introduces volunteers to the basics of guardianship law, provide guidelines and criteria to use when conducting investigations, and point out things to look out for that could be indicators of abuse or neglect of a ward.  

The volunteerís responsibility on a given case is to review the court file to learn about the ward, meet with the ward and the guardian to assess the current situation, and complete a written form report that must be submitted by the volunteer to the Court.  The volunteer is assigned four guardianship cases to investigate within twenty-eight days, and a two-hour time commitment per case is expected.  Once the volunteer submits his/her report on an assigned case, s/he is done with that case.  Volunteers may take on as many guardianship cases to investigate as they feel comfortable with. 

Interested in GIVP?

If you are interested in volunteering or obtaining more information about the Guardianship Investigation Volunteer Program, please feel free to contact:

Molly Schikora-Probate Register
Guardianship Investigation Volunteer Program (GIVP)
Washtenaw County Probate Court
P.O. Box
101 East Huron Street
Ann Arbor, MI
(734) 222-6903

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