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Cuyahoga County Probate Court launches 'Guardian Partners' program to protect vulnerable adults

Posted at 9:42 AM, Jan 22, 2020

CLEVELAND — The Cuyahoga County Probate Court has just launched a new program to help protect adults who are unable to care for themselves due to mental and often times also physical disabilities.

The Guardian Partners program is one of the first and now largest in Ohio.

Currently, guardians, appointed by the Probate Court, care for the nearly 7,000 adults in Cuyahoga County. They assist with medical concerns and managing of bank accounts.

The new program is essentially a monitoring system of the guardians.

The court recruited and trained 25 guardian partners to visit the adults in the program at their place of residence, speak to their guardians and report any issues that may affect the persons health and welfare. The partners all have a background in social work or human services.

Jennifer Alexander, a deputy court administrator, said they're confident the adults in their program are being taken care of but added that this is another layer of protection for the adult wards. Their goal is to visit all of the adults in their program within the next 18 months.

"Make sure that people's needs are being met. Their care plan is being followed and that they are safe in the community," Alexander said.

The Guardian Partners program is being funded within the court's current budget, without seeking additional money from Cuyahoga County government.