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Volunteer Guardian Program

Volunteer Guardian Program - Departments & Programs, UW Medical Foundation, Patient Resources, Social Work Services Quick Guide, Social Work Manual, Legal, Guardianship


South Madison Coalition of the Elderly
128 E. Olin Ave. Suite 110
Madison, WI 53713
Phone (608) 251-8405
Fax (608) 251-9028

Linking Volunteer Guardians with Older Adults in Need

The Volunteer Guardian Program is a program of the South Madison Coalition of the Elderly, supported by the United Way. The purpose of this program is to recruit, train, and support qualified volunteers to serve as court appointed guardians for elderly adults (aged 60 and over) in Dane County. These volunteers are available to serve incompetent older adults who are needing a guardian in instances when family members are unavailable, unwilling, or unable to serve. The individuals served may be incapacitated by dementia, chronic mental illness, or a developmental disability, and may be living in the community, in Community Based Residential Facilities, or in nursing homes. Volunteers in this program are able to serve as guardians of the person, as guardians of both person and estate when the estate is small, and as temporary guardians.

Volunteer guardian recruitment is targeted at retired and currently employed professionals such as social workers, nurses, teachers, lawyers, and accountants. Applicants are carefully screened. Prospective volunteer guardians receive a training manual and several hours of training on such topics as the court process, the roles and responsibilities of guardians of person and estate, adult protective placement, medical decision-making, and senior benefits and resources. They are then matched with prospective wards as the need arises. Matches are made in conjunction with the staff from the Adult Protective Services Unit of Dane County Human Services, and from other referring organizations. Once a volunteer guardian has been appointed by the court, a staff person from the South Madison Coalition continues to be available to provide individual consultation and support as needed. Group meetings are also scheduled several times a year to provide ongoing training and support.

The South Madison Coalition is accepting referrals of individuals needing guardians from Dane County Human Services, from other human services agencies throughout Dane County, and from area hospitals. Individuals need to be aged 60 or over and residents of Dane County.

To request more information or to make a referral, please contact Katie Brietzman at the South Madison Coalition, (608) 251-8405, ext.14.